How to Avoid Tax-Related Identity Theft?

How to Avoid Tax-Related Identity Theft?

Identity theft is a huge issue in the U.S, affecting millions of citizens every year, mostly during tax season. In 2020, FTC registered over 1.4 million complaints with tax fraud being in the top five at 89,391 reports.

Criminals can easily hijack personal information that millions of people input online or in their filed taxes through the mail. They file tax returns by using stolen identities to collect the victims’ refunds. Moreover, these scammers can even get a job using your social security number and get you taxed for money you didn’t earn!

Here’s how you can keep yourself secure and minimize your risk of identity theft.

Use Your Email Cautiously

The IRS would never ask you for personal information using an unsolicited email address. Cyber thieves love impersonating officials and try to deceive people into sending sensitive information online.

Don’t click on any suspicious links or download any attached files in these emails, especially if they’re promising a service that provides faster and better refunds. Refund times are standardized, with electronic copies taking three weeks, and mailed ones taking six.

Clean Out Your Old Computer

Incase you’re throwing out an old computer, make sure to entirely destroy all your old data. Even fax machines and printers can contain some personal information. Either use an application to wipe all the data clean or destroy the whole appliance.

Strengthen Up Your Passwords

It’s easy to get lazy and use the same password across the board to remember it easily, but that can put your data at risk. Make sure to use strong, differentiated passwords for all your sensitive information and include numbers, symbols, and both upper and lowercase letters.

Always Go Through the Fine Print

Make sure to read the online filing service’s security and privacy policies before electronically filing your taxes. You should know when the personal information you put in will get destroyed and if it’s shareable to third parties.

A tax controversy lawyer in Silver Spring

Lincoln Law Group’s Tax Controversies Attorneys Can Assist You During Tax Season

While you can use these tips to reduce the risk of tax-related identity theft, you can’t eliminate it completely. The Lincoln Law Group LLC is led by a seasoned accountant who will handle your tax controversies. Their full range of legal services includes tax lawyers, immigration attorneys, child custody lawyers, criminal lawyers, and others in Maryland.

Contact them and schedule an appointment today.

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