It’s hard enough that the government takes a big chunk of your money each year. What makes things worse is that identity thieves view tax season as a prime time to take even more from you.
The paperwork you submit to the government – and possibly your accountant – each year contains a mother-lode of information about you that can be used by identity thieves.
While the IRS is taking steps that have reduced tax identity theft, taxpayers must still take ownership to protect their filings as the risks remain high, data security and identity theft protection firm CyberScout warns.
CyberScout offers these tips for tax filers:
- Always use long and strong passwords.
- Never authenticate yourself to anyone who contacts you online or by phone, since the IRS will never contact you by those methods.
- Use direct deposit of refunds into your bank account or a locking mailbox for mailed refunds.
- Monitor and protect your accounts and elements of your personal identity online and in social media. It’s easy for hackers to figure out answers to security questions from social media.
This time of year is prime time for identity theft. Do what you can to protect yourself.