Scam of the Month
IDENTITY THEFT AND TAX FRAUD
It’s that time of year again – tax season! Here’s how to protect yourself from identity theft and tax fraud.
To prevent someone from filing a false tax return in your name:
- File your tax return as early as possible.
- If filing online, use a secure internet connection to prevent hackers from getting your information.
- If filing on paper, mail your tax return directly from the post office to prevent mail theft.
If you suspect that someone has filed a false tax return in your name:
- Respond right away to any mail from the IRS.
- Report identity theft or tax fraud to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at www.identitytheft.gov
- Report tax fraud to the IRS by completing IRS Form 14039 (“Identity Theft Affidavit”). You can attach the completed form to your paper tax return and mail it to the IRS. For questions, call the IRS’s specialized fraud line at 1-800-908-4490.
- Contact one of the three major credit bureaus to place a ‘fraud alert’ on your credit records:
- Equifax, www.Equifax.com, 1-800-525-6285
- Experian, www.Experian.com, 1-888-397-3742
- TransUnion, www.TransUnion.com, 1-800-680-7289
- Request and review your Credit Report from the credit bureaus listed above. Look for accounts that you do not recognize – these may have been opened by an identity thief.
- Contact your financial institutions to inform them of the fraud. Close any affected accounts.
For more information:
Check out these free webinars on tax identity theft, how to reduce your risk, and what to do if it happens to you. Visit www.ftc.gov/taxidentitytheft to sign up.
Monday, January 29, 2:00 p.m. — The FTC and the Identity Theft Resource Center host a webinar on tax identity theft, IRS imposter scams, how to protect yourself, and recovery steps.
Tuesday, January 30, 2:30 p.m. — The FTC, AARP Fraud Watch Network, AARP Foundation Tax-Aide program, and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration host a webinar on tax identity theft and IRS imposter scams.