Tax Identity Theft Awareness

It is tax season, which means identity thieves and IRS imposters are hard at work trying to steal your personally identifying information in order to file a phony tax return.

 Do you know how to protect yourself, and what to do if someone were to use your Social Security number to collect a fraudulent refund? While tax identity theft isn’t always avoidable, there are some steps you can take to help lower your risk of becoming a victim.

  •  File early. The IRS only accepts one tax return per Social Security or Taxpayer ID number. If a thief submits your information first, your legitimate tax return will be rejected.
  •  Always use anti-virus software with automatic updates.
  •  Do not respond to phony phishing emails, deceptive phone calls, and bogus texts from supposed “IRS agents”. The IRS will not contact you without first sending you a bill.
  •  Never send cash via a prepaid debit card or wire transfer. The IRS will never require you to use a specific method of payment or ask for a credit/debit/gift card number over the phone.

For more information about Tax Payer Identity Theft, log on to www.consumer.ftc.gov or www.IRS.gov/identitytheft.

To report a suspicious call, text, or email, contact the Sheriff’s Office fraud line at 239-258-3292.