Every tax season presents another opportunity for an identity thief to make some quick money at the expense of another person. Not to worry, there are some steps that you can take to reduce the likelihood that someone steals your tax refund.
File early! The easiest way to prevent missing out on your tax refund due to identity theft is to file for your taxes as soon as all required tax documents are available. It can’t be stolen if it was already claimed.
Keep information secure online. Use long, strong passwords that are unique and contain numbers and special characters to make it harder for hackers to access your accounts.
Recognize phishing attempts. Cyber criminals pose as legitimate companies, even ones you are familiar with by sending emails that look authentic. Typically, you will be asked to provide sensitive information or open an attachment that contains malicious software to steal personal information from your device.
Choose your tax preparer carefully. Not all companies provide the Next Level of Service, do your research and make sure the person you choose has references and reviews.
Look out for tax scams. The IRS will not call to threaten you or demand immediate payment with a specific payment method. If you receive a call from someone claiming to be an IRS agent or representative from a tax preparation firm, it’s likely a scam. Hang up and call the IRS or the business in question to confirm.