Tax-related Identity Theft
Tax-related identity theft is the taking of a victim’s identity, including their Social Security number, and filing a fraudulent tax return. Victims are often unaware that this has occurred until they file their return and discover that a return has already been filed under their Social Security number.
How can you reduce your risk?
- Be aware of scams and “phishing” schemes. Do not give out personal information over the phone, through the mail, or over the Internet unless you have initiated the contact. The Police Department reminds citizens that the IRS will not call you and demand immediate payment. The IRS will not call about taxes you owe without first mailing you a bill.
- Protect your personal data. Use security software with firewall and anti-virus protection. Use strong passwords. Shred all documents that contain personal information.
- Do not click on links or download attachments from unknown or suspicions emails.
- Monitor your credit report. Federal law requires that each of the three credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian and Trans Union) provide one free credit report per year to individuals upon request. You may order your free credit report from each of the three bureaus at the Annual Credit Report Web site (www.annualcreditreport.com).