As tax time draws to a close, we have one more post about ways to protect your sensitive financial information. This one comes from a conversation I had with a friend and member of ProtectMyID™. The other day, we were talking about taxes and he was commenting about the good information he’s read on the blog and how he’s been extra careful with his tax preparation – where he stores his documents, making sure his tax preparer keeps his information secure, and more tips we provided in a previous post. However, he then proceeded to tell me how all of his efforts almost went out the window in two minutes.
A few weekends ago, he went to a tax preparer, filed his taxes and was driving home. On the way home, he stopped by a friend’s house for just a minute. As the street was packed, he parked in front of his friend’s driveway. He knocked on the door, his friend didn’t answer, so he came back to his car only to find a man rummaging around the front seat of the car and looking through the file the tax preparer had given him! When he asked the man about it, he replied that he was looking for a name or contact information as the car was blocking his ability to get out of his driveway.
His story could have been true, or it could have been a quick thinking cover of a potential fraudster caught in the act. The lesson here is that you need to protect your information from identity theft throughout the tax process. Once those taxes are filed, remember to keep your financial information safely locked away, and please don’t leave it on your car’s front seat!