Next Tuesday April 17th is Tax Day – the deadline for which individual income tax returns are due to the federal government. While most people look forward to the refund they receive, tax season is the perfect time for identity theft. According to Cyberscout.com, identity theft affects nearly 260,000 Americans each year. It can happen to anyone.
A criminal can use your stolen social security number or personal tax identification number to fraudulently file a tax return in your name. They cash in by having your refund re-routed to a different address or bank account.
Be careful with your personal information and be skeptical of phone calls, letters, or emails from people claiming to be the IRS or other organizations. Never give out personal information like bank account numbers, credit card numbers, or Social Security numbers — to people you don’t know and trust. Make computer passwords strong and opt for direct deposit to avoid lost or stolen refund checks.
It takes an average of three months for victims of tax return fraud to receive their refunds while the IRS works to resolve the issue.
According to the Internal Revenue Service, the IRS will never:
- Call to demand immediate payment, nor will we call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill.
- Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
- Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.
- Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
- Threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.
Protecting your identity is, of course, something to be mindful of all year round – not just during tax season. To add identity protection to your insurance policy, contact us at John Andrade Insurance today at 401-253-6542.