Safety First When It Comes to Tax Returns
By Sierra Hudson , Marketing —
Scammers are always on the prowl, looking for ways to steal from you. That’s why the Federal Trade Commission declared a “Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week” recently. This brings awareness to consumers and provides opportunities to learn what a tax scam can look like and how a scammer will use your private information to benefit.
Do you know how identity theft happens?
We hear all the time that someone has had their identity stolen, but what exactly does that mean? Typically, in identity theft someone uses a person’s Social Security number to assume that particular identity. In tax identity theft, a scammer’s goal is to obtain your tax refund information.
In 2017, over 56,000 imposters and over 420 tax-related scams were reported in the state of Texas alone! Thus far, in 2019, more than 50 tax scams have been reported to the Better Business Bureau. That is just over 1 per day thus far in the year of 2019. So how will you know if you’ve become victim to tax fraud? The IRS may send you a letter stating that more than 1 return was filed under your SSN, or when you file your taxes you won’t be able to since they have already been filed.
How Can I Protect Myself?
Protect your privacy! The more you shop online, banking, or anything you do online means increased accessibility to your personal data. Beware. Also be cautious of spam emails and physical mail. And the number one tip, complete your personal tax return documents as soon as possible. The sooner you file, the less likely you will fall victim to a scammer.
Converus® provides a secure solution to verify a persons identity, called IdentityDetect™. Using IdentityDetect™ you can quickly verify if the person submitting the tax return is the rightful owner of the SSN. This would provide peace of mind as consumers submit their return. They can be confident knowing that IdentityDetect™ has verified their credentials, and eagerly await their return.