Posts from February, 2012
Identity thieves have a penchant for using other people’s Social Security numbers (SSN) to submit false tax returns and claim refunds to which they aren’t entitled. You may find it’s happened to you if the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) rejects your return and informs you it already has one for your SSN. If so, there are two critical steps you need to take.
If you’re mindful of how you and others handle your tax documents and data, you’re on the right track to protecting your identity. But thieves have more ways than you might think to get a hold of the valuable information on your tax returns. Here’s a look at three of the less obvious ways and a few ideas on protecting yourself from them.
Tax preparation has gone digital with the relatively new apps for your tablet and smart phone, as well as the not-so-new software and online services. But, chances are, you can’t completely avoid the paper trail of tax season. No matter what your paper trail consists of or how large it is, it could put you at risk for identity theft, a highly taxing experience in its own right. In a 2011 survey, ProtectMyID found that 48% of respondents don’t secure their old tax documents and 43% do.
While no one likes phishing scams, the best thing about a purported IRS scam is this: It’s easy to spot. The IRS only communicates via postal mail regarding questions about your return or refund. Any email you receive that claims to be from the IRS and asks for more data in order to clarify a problem or process a refund is a fake.
Phishing techniques, like many social engineering techniques, are designed to frighten you into overriding your internal caution button and to get you to take immediate action, usually by clicking on a link conveniently provided in an email. This latest scam is no different. Over the weekend, two staffers received claiming to be from a major cell phone carrier with the alarming subject line “Account Locked.”
If you don’t easily find your lost wallet, give the Lost Wallet hotline a call. Since we are able to track your cards, we can make the calls to cancel and request replacement debit, credit and medical insurance cards. At ProtectMyID, we know what steps to take, so we act quickly to help you minimize the financial damage that can happen as a result of identity theft.
Every year during tax season, many individuals discover that they are victims of identity theft. Identity theft affects the processing of a tax return in many ways. For example, victims may be notified by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that a tax return has already been filed in their name for the given tax year. In some cases, the individual is notified by the IRS that he or she has failed to report earnings from an employer for the tax year in question.
Medical identity theft, a twist on traditional ID theft, is when your personal identifying information (PII) is stolen for the purposes of acquiring medical benefits. As is the trend with most stored information these days, medical records are being digitalized and stored electronically more than ever before. The benefits of storing information this way are obvious, as are the associated risks.