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Tax Refund Identity Theft is on the Rise – Easy Tips to Protect Yourself!

2.29.16

Tax Refund Identity Theft is on the Rise – Easy Tips to Protect Yourself!

By Jim Gornik, CPA, JD | Principal – Tax Jim Gornik

 

Finding out you have been a victim of identity theft can be a stressful event. Tax-related identity theft occurs when someone files a tax return using your Social Security number in an attempt to receive a tax refund.

If you are notified that someone may have filed a tax return using your Social Security number, or if you think you may be at risk due to a lost or stolen purse or wallet, you can call the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit at 800-908-4490. If you receive a notice from the IRS regarding identity theft, call the number on the notice. You should also contact your tax preparer.

In Addition to Notifying the IRS

 

  • File a report with the Federal Trade Commission at www.identitytheft.gov
  • File a report with the local police
  • Contact the fraud departments of the three major credit bureaus:
  • Contact your financial institutions and close any financial or credit accounts opened without your permission or tampered with by identity thieves. Once the IRS determines you have been a victim of identity theft, the IRS will assign you an IP-PIN (Identity Protection Personal Identification Number). You will not be able to file future tax returns using only your Social Security number; you must use the IP-PIN. You will be assigned a new (different) IP-PIN each year.

Apple Growth Partners can help you with tax refund identity theft.

Tips to Help Protect you from Being a Victim of Identity Theft

 

  • Don’t carry your Social Security number with you
  • Don’t give a business your Social Security number just because they ask
  • Check your credit report every 12 months
  • Protect your personal computers by using firewalls and anti-spam software
  • Change your passwords often
  • Don’t give personal information over the phone or the internet unless you have initiated the contact or you are sure you know who you are dealing with

Apple Growth Partners can help you work through identity theft. Contact us if your identity has been compromised at 330.867.7350.

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