identity guard logoHow would you like to file your taxes to get that refund that you are planning to use to take a very well-needed vacation and the IRS tells you that you already files and received your refund?

tax identity theft

What? You may think it would never happen to you, but tax-time identity theft is happening to many people every year. According to a report by a national taxpayer advocate, the IRS, tax identity theft caseload grew by 20 percent in 2011.

 How Does Tax Identity Theft Happen?

It seems very simple. We prepare our taxes and send them off to the IRS, so how can someone else commit tax identity theft and file taxes in your name? Here is how identity theft happens.

1. Bogus IRS Calls. This will be either a live call or automated call and they will claim that you did something wrong or there is a mistake and they need your information to clear it up. Don’t fall for that. When I get calls like this, if I don’t hang up immediately, I will ask for the person’s name and tell them I will call the IRS office myself to verify.

2. Phony Refunds. This is similar to the first one where someone will call and tell you there is a problem with your refund and they need your bank information to clear it up.

3. Dishonest Tax Preparers. You give a tax preparer a lot of information so you need to be sure you trust your tax preparer.

4. Mail Theft. Your refund could be stolen right out of your mailbox.

5. Phishing. These would be emails about taxes and usually they ask you to click on a link.

Protect Yourself Against Tax Identity Theft

tax fraud

  • Be suspicious of any calls and emails that you receive when they claim to be the IRS. The IRS will always send you a letter and give you the information to contact them. They won’t call you and ask for your bank information
  • Never confirm your important information (social security number, bank information, etc.) by email or phone.
  • Guard your mail, especially at tax time. Get the mail from your box as soon as possible or have it delivered to your door if possible.
  • Keep your computer security software up-to-date.
  • If you owe money to the IRS, pay it online.
  • Do not use a public photocopying machine to copy your important tax documents.
  • Shred any unnecessary documents once tax is over.

Identity Guard Will Help Protect Your Family

It’s important to protect your documents and personal information all the time, not just at tax-time. Identity Guard® can help you protect yourself against the thread of identity theft. With  kID Sure℠, your child will be protected against ID theft also.

Be sure to follow Identity Guard on Facebook & Twitter.

Let’s Talk About Tax Identity Theft!

Have you or do you know anyone who was a victim of tax identity theft? What precautions do you take against tax identity theft?

kidsure ambassadorDisclosure: As a kidSure Ambassador, this service was provided to me for review at no charge. In addition I received monetary compensation. All opinions are my own.