Tax Related Identity Theft
As the 2018 tax season begins, the DeLand Police Department would to help you protect yourself from tax-related identity theft. What is tax-related identity theft, you may ask? Well it’s when criminals use your Social Security Number in order to file a fraudulent tax return with the Internal Revenue Service and in turn collect a fraudulent tax refund. Here are some steps that can help reduce your risk of falling victim to tax-related and identity theft in general.
- Always use security software with firewall and anti-virus protections. Use strong passwords. For example included upper and lowercase letters as well as numbers and symbols in your passwords.
- Learn to recognize and avoid phishing emails, which are emails requesting your personal information such as account numbers or passwords, threatening calls, and texts from thieves posing as legitimate organizations such as your bank, credit card companies and even the IRS.
- Do not click on links or download attachments from unknown or suspicious emails.
- Protect your personal data. Don’t routinely carry your Social Security card, and make sure your tax records are secure.
It is also important to remember that the IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email to request personal or financial information. This includes any type of electronic communication, such as text messages and social media channels. The IRS does not call taxpayers with threats of lawsuits or arrests. If you believe that you have fallen victim to identity theft, you should contact the IRS immediately and file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission on their website. For more information about tax-related identity theft visit the IRS website below.
Internal Revenue Service contact information:
Federal Trade Commission contact information: