How to make sure your identity isn't stolen this tax season
With tax season here, there are certain things that you should keep an eye out for. Many scammers are out and looking for ways to pose as either an IRS affiliated company or a potential higher employee, in order to take your personal information and use it for their gain.
- If you receive an email from someone claiming to be from the IRS, or the IRS themselves. It is Fraud. The IRS will only send you a physical letter if they have any issues with your taxes.
- Be careful if you work in a larger company and you receive an email from someone claiming to be a higher-up accountant. Especially if they send you a link to "update your tax information." If this person does work in your company make sure to check in person before providing any information. Definitely do not click any links, as they most likely lead to a fictitious website.
- Similarly, if you receive a phone call from someone higher up, do not give your personal information over the phone. Make sure it is absolutely them and if they require it, give it in person.
- If you send or receive a digital version of your w-2 or 1099 make sure that it is encrypted. A look to the URL to see a lock on the left-hand sign will verify that you are looking at your correct and encrypted version.
- If you own a small or large company, make sure to have procedures in place and extra security measures. This is a time in the year when hackers can get a lot of personal information.
- Finally, be on the lookout for someone asking you to fill out a W-2 or W-9 form. These people can take your information and file taxes before you get to them and receive your refund that you worked hard for.
These are a number of steps you can take to make sure that no one takes your personal information and possibly your identity. Make sure not only to be on the lookout for these yourself but also for your friends and family that may not readily lookout for these instances.
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