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The IRS offered taxpayers the following tips to avoid becoming an identity theft victim:
Guard your personal information.
Identity thieves can get your personal information in many ways. This includes stealing your wallet or purse, posing as someone who needs information about you, looking through your trash, or stealing information you provide to an unsecured website or in an unencrypted email. BE AWARE WHO YOU ARE GIVING YOUR SSN TO; NEVER GIVE IT OUT OVER THE PHONE!
Watch out for IRS impersonators; YES PEOPLE IMPERSONATE IRS AGENTS!
Be aware that the IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email or social media channels to request personal or financial information or notify people of an audit, refund or investigation. Scammers may also use phone calls, faxes, websites or even in-person contacts. If you're suspicious that it's not really the IRS contacting you, don't respond. Visit the IRS's Report Phishing page to see what to do OR BETTER YET, CALL YOUR CPA!
Protect information on your computer.
While preparing your tax return or data for your CPA, protect it with a strong password. Once you send the data or file a return, take it off your hard drive and store it on a CD or flash drive in a safe place, like a lock box or safe. WE STORE ALL OF YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION ON REDUNDENT HARD DRIVES, WITH COMPLEX PASSWORDS AND NEVER SEND YOUR INFORMATION OUT OF THE OFFICE. Any information destroyed is shredded by a certified company into the smallest pieaces they become pulp and cannot be reconstructed. Our client portal is a secure mode to transmit data with sensitive information such as account and social security numbers. NEVER SEND THIS TYPE OF INFORMATION VIA REGULAR EMAIL!
The IRS noted that your identity may have been stolen if the IRS notifies you that:
*You filed more than one tax return or someone has already filed using your information;
*You owe taxes for a year when you were not legally required to file and did not file; or
*You were paid wages from an employer where you did not work.
The IRS advisestaxpayers to respond quickly using the contact information in the letter they received from the IRS so that it can begin to correct and secure the tax account.
ALWAYS CONTACT YOUR CPA BEFORE RESPONDING TO AN IRS LETTER.
If taxpayers think they may be at risk for identity theft due to a lost or stolen purse or wallet, questionable credit card activity, an unexpected bad credit report or any other way, they should contact the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit toll-free at 1-(800)-908-4490. The IRS will then take steps to secure your tax account. The Federal Trade Commission also has helpful information about reporting identity theft.
If you have information about the identity thief who used or tried to use your information, file a complaint with theInternet Crime Complaint Center.
For more information, including how to report identity theft, phishing and related fraudulent activity, visit theIdentity Protection home page on IRS.gov and click on the Identity Theft link at the bottom of the page.
Last Updated by Michelle Matlin on 2013-02-25 06:40:14 PM