Tax season is upon us and unfortunately, this also is an opportunity for identity thieves. Tax-related identity theft occurs when someone uses stolen Social Security Number to file a tax return and claim a fraudulent refund.
Most are unaware that this has happened until they go to file their taxes and discover that a return has already been filed. The IRS may send a letter stating that more than one return was filed in your name, or that IRS records show you have wages from an employer you don’t know.
Protect yourself from tax identity theft and IRS imposter scams. Filing earlier may help you get ahead of the thieves. If you are using online or efiling software, make sure that you are using firewall or anti-virus protections. Use strong passwords for your login. Don’t share your password over email, phone, or text and store them in a secure place. Don’t send confidential information, including your Social Security Number over email.
Recognize and avoid phishing emails, calls or texts with thieves posing as legitimate organizations such as the IRS, your financial institution, and others. Be careful when clicking on links or downloading attachments and information from unknown or suspicious communications. Campus Federal will never contact to you obtain account numbers or passwords. Read more about how to Protect Yourself Against Identity Theft.
You can file a complaint with the FTC at identitytheft.gov. Report suspicious online or emailed phishing scams to: firstname.lastname@example.org. For phishing scams by phone, fax or mail, call 1-800-366-4484.
Report IRS impersonation scams to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration’s IRS Impersonation Scams Reporting.
Contact one of the three major credit bureaus to place a ‘fraud alert’ on your credit records:
- Equifax, www.Equifax.com, 800-525-6285
- Experian, www.Experian.com, 888-397-3742
- TransUnion, www.TransUnion.com, 800-680-7289
Campus Federal has partnered with Merchants Information Solutions, Inc. to offer you identity theft monitoring, resources, and recovery services with Fraud Defender.