Disclosure: I was compensated for writing this Tax Preparation sponsored post for H&R Block. Regardless, I only recommend products and services that I use or feel will be an amazing resource to my audience. All opinions are my own.
It’s time to file your taxes and tax season is open season for identity thieves
With data theft becoming a common occurrence, consumers are increasingly aware of the vulnerability of their credit card and personal information. However, credit cards and bank records aren’t the only sensitive bits of information that criminals seek. Have you ever considered the vulnerability of your tax paperwork?
It’s time to file your taxes and tax season is open season for identity thieves. It’s a lucrative time of year for those who want to steal an identity in order to open credit lines or even falsely claim your tax refund.
This isn’t surprising when you consider that tax forms contain a lot of sensitive information that criminals can use to commit fraud. They contain social security numbers, addresses, income, and property information. They give a thief plenty of information to assume your identity—and possibly your money.
Recently, investigators for the U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration discovered after a nine-month investigation that criminals stole the tax forms of nearly 720,000 tax filers according to a CNN article.
In general, there are several things you can do to avoid being one of the statistics and to protect your personal identity. The IRS suggests using security software with firewall and anti-virus protections, and encrypting sensitive files such as tax records stored on your computer. Also be aware of emails, threatening calls, and texts from thieves posing as organizations like your bank, credit card company or the IRS. Also be sure to use strong passwords for all accounts.
You should also take advantage of Block Advisor’soffering.
- Tax Identity Shield includes a pre-tax season scan to provide awareness of tax identity theft risk.
- Provides customized advice and year-round tips and education on how to reduce risk.
- Provides proactive defense to help protect future tax returns from being stolen.
- Gives early detection of any fraudulent returns submitted through Block Advisors with a notification to a secure email address.
- Offers expert guidance and support with restoration services, in the event of tax identity theft.
This tax season be prepared and protect your identity. Block Advisors can help. Locate a Block Advisor near you.