Did you know that during tax season, you’re at greater risk of identity theft? Tax season is here, and that means you need to be extra cautious when receiving your important tax documents in the mail and ensure they don’t fall into the wrong hands.
Year-end credit card summaries, W-2s, 1099 income tax forms, and brokerage statements contain critical information about you, such as account numbers, your full name and Social Security number. In the wrong hands, this personal data can put you at risk for identity theft.
Fraudsters can also gain access to valuable personal and payroll information by impersonating the IRS or other tax entities via phishing, malware, and various forms of business email compromise. For instance, recently, fraudsters claiming to represent the IRS have contacted potential victims asking for personal information and threatening that the victim's Social Security number could be suspended or canceled if they do not comply.
It is important to understand that the IRS does not contact taxpayers by email, text, or social media messages to ask for personal or financial information, including passwords and PINs. Any such contact should serve as an alarm. IRS notices about tax-related identity theft are sent by mail. And, the IRS will never ask you to wire money, pay with a gift card or prepaid debit card, or share your credit card information over the phone.
Here Are Some Tips To Keep Your Information Safe During Tax Season:
If you receive an email claiming to be from the IRS requesting W-2s or other tax-related information:
- Don’t reply.
- Don’t open any attachments or links, as they may contain malicious malware code that can infect your computer or mobile phone.
- Forward the full email to the IRS at email@example.com
- Delete the original email.
If the IRS sends you a notice or letter saying that someone used your SSN to get a tax refund, respond quickly, and follow the instructions in the letter.
Call the IRS using the telephone number given in the letter. You’ll need the letter and a copy of your prior year’s tax return when you call to help verify your identity. Visit the IRS Identity Theft Victim Assistance: How It Works, for more information.
If you think someone used your SSN to file for a tax refund, but you haven’t gotten a letter from the IRS, use IdentityTheft.gov to complete an IRS Identity Theft Affidavit (IRS Form 14039) and submit it to the IRS online so that the IRS can begin resolving your case.
Other Steps To Repair Identity Theft
Next, it's essential to limit the potential damage from identity theft.
- Put a fraud alert on your credit reports.
- Order your free credit reports and close any new accounts opened in your name.
- Consider placing a credit freeze on your credit reports.
Visit IdentityTheft.gov for help with these critical steps.
Quikstone Capital Solutions is your trusted business partner and we care about the integrity of you and your business. We’re always here to help when you need us. Visit us at QuikstoneCapital.com or call us at 866-456-5638.