The last day to file your taxes is only one week from today. If you are a last minute filer, you are probably scrambling, and a bit stressed, right now. And we all know that stress can impair your ability to be able to clearly think through your actions. Ahhh, Tax season + stressed-out, doing things in a rush, not really paying attention to details people = online identity thieves PAY DAY!
Think about it the reasons why tax-time identity theft is higher*:
- Sensitive documents will be exchanged, sent, and shared between employers, employees, and tax preparers and online tax sites.
- Large amounts of money will be moving across accounts, especially online.
- Scams are easy to pull off during this busy time – people are quick to react to mail (or email) from the IRS because they want to get their returns.
So what do you need to remember about identity protection during this last minute rush to get your taxes handled?
Filing Online May Actually Be Safer
While we hear all the time about hackers and online security breaches, filing online may be the safer way to go. Why? Because you are not sharing your personal information with "strangers." Your paperwork isn't being handled and filed by office assistants, post office employees or other random people.
Secure Your Computer:
To ensure the safety of online filing, check that your computer is "clean" and all security systems are up-to-date. Make sure free of malware and spyware that can steal a copy of your SSN or bank account password. Also make sure the software you are using is from a trusted source and save a copy of your return on an external thumb drive instead of on your computer.
Think Things Through
Continue to think about these risks for the next few months and continue to protect yourself from fraudlent activity. Be suspicious of any calls or emails purporting to be from the IRS, no matter what the issue. For example, some scams claim that someone else has already filed tax returns in your name or with your SSN. The IRS will always write to you first, will rarely call, and will never email you. Another tip is to Never confirm your SSN or bank account details by email or over the phone unless you are the one placing the call.
Good luck and now get filing!
*source: Protect Your Identity at Tax Time
*disclaimer: This is a sponsored post from Identity Guard.