Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week is aimed to help consumers learn to protect themselves from tax-related identity theft and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) imposter scams. During Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week, your educated in keeping your tax-related identity safe and secure.
Tax identity theft happens when someone uses your Social Security number (SSN) to apply for a job or file a tax return to claim your refund. You may only find out if you’ve been a victim of tax identity theft when you e-file your tax return and discover a return has been filed. Or when you discover wage records from an employer you’ve never worked for.
IRS imposters are scammers who call you and pretend they’re from the IRS. These scammers claim you owe taxes and demand that you pay right now, usually with a gift card or prepaid debit card. Scammers will attempt to make threatening overtures like you’ll be arrested or face expensive legal consequences if you don’t pay.
The IRS will never call you and request payment through gift cards or prepaid debit cards.
What does the Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week share:
- Protect your SSN throughout the year. Know who you’re giving your SSN to and the reason behind the request.
- File your tax return early in the tax season.
- Make sure you’re using legitimate online tax preparation software.
- Use a secure internet connection if you file electronically, or mail your tax return directly from the post office.
- Research a tax preparer thoroughly before you hand over personal information.
- Check your credit report at least once a year for free at annualcreditreport.com.