How stressed out do you get when filing your taxes each year? If you responded by saying quite stressed you would not be alone.
What are you doing to not only try and get a refund, but also make sure your financial info does not end up in the wrong hands?
For millions with taxes, they forget about how a simple case of identity theft can change their lives.
So, is filing your taxes taxing you?
Don’t Think Identity Theft Can’t Happen to You
In the event you think tax related identity theft can’t creep into your life, think again.
Take note many identity theft criminals are waiting for you and millions of consumers to slip up. When you or they do, the thief can strike in a matter of minutes.
Your first order of business is making sure you are dealing with a reputable company or pro to do your taxes.
If you need to find someone new to do your taxes, make sure you check out their background. This is key before giving them such pertinent personal information.
Look to see how long in business, their reputation, and if they’ve had run-ins with the Better Business Bureau.
Once you have the right tax person in place, make sure you get them all your pertinent financial info in a secure way.
If dropping your taxes off at their office, be sure they get in the proper hands. Do not drop them off on a table or desk and leave without someone securing them.
Also make it a point to secure any tax discussions you have with your tax preparer online. If you do not have an online protection service provider, you need one. Thieves think nothing of trying to hack into the computers of consumers on a yearly basis.
Another area of defense is making sure you do not become the victim of identity theft via the phone.
In the event you have senior parents, make sure they are alert to the possibilities of identity theft.
As an example, one who is claiming to be with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) calls you or a senior relative.
The claim is that one or both of you owe the government money. If the money is not paid, one hears they may lose everything.
Your first order of business is to know that the IRS does not use the phone as a means to communicate with consumers. That is your first clue the call you are getting is a scam.
Second, never give out your personal info over the phone.
This includes where you bank, your personal bank account number and more. Unfortunately, too many people have made those mistakes over the years. In doing so, they’ve lost money they will never see again. In some cases, it can lead to debt for many years to come.
Last, do your best to get a number or some other form of I.D. from the person who reached out to you or a loved one. Although law enforcement has limits in what it can do, having some info to give them is better than nothing at all.
When filing taxes is taxing you, the last thing you want is identity theft to find its way into your life.