Tax season is here, yet there are some people who can’t file their tax returns! Why you might ask? The tax return program they are using has notified them that they have already filed a tax return, even though they didn’t! How could this be possible? There has been a rise of identity theft cases during tax season, where scammers file tax returns under other people’s names! This is why it is important to know how to prevent identity theft during tax season.
How Do Scammers Steal Your Information?
Scammers can steal your information in a variety of different ways, but these are just a few ways your information can be stolen:
- They can send a phishing email or text message out to you, claiming that they need your information for a supposed important reason.
- You may have entered your information through a fake website, thinking that it was legit.
- You may have fallen for a romance scam where your online romantic partner needed your personal information for some reason.
- A scammer can pretend to be an IRS agent or other official on the phone to get your social security number.
- Your social security number could show up through a data breach, and all the scammer needed was your name to access it.
While these are just a few ways your information can be stolen, there are still many possibilities as to how scammers can steal your information. If you have provided your name, birthday, and/or social security to someone you don’t know, then there is a chance that you could be a victim of identity theft.
How Can You Tell if You’re a Victim of Identity Theft During Tax Season?
- You are getting random letters stating that you applied for a credit card that you didn’t apply for.
- You attempted to fill out a tax return form using programs such as TurboTax or H&R Block and it states that you already filed your taxes when you didn’t.
- You check your bank account and notice unexplainable bank withdrawals
- You stop receiving your bills and mail.
- You start getting calls from debt collectors stating that you need to pay the debt that you’ve never collected.
- You start receiving bills for things that you didn’t purchase.
- You stop receiving health benefits because your benefits limit was supposedly reached when it wasn’t.
How to Prevent Identity Theft During Tax Season
- Don’t send your personal and financial information to someone you don’t know.
- Never enter your SSN on a website that you don’t trust
- Don’t carry your SSN card in your wallet.
- Collect mail from your mailbox each day, and place a hold on your mail when traveling.
- Watch out for unauthorized transactions to your bank account.
- Shred important documents before throwing them away.
- Review credit reports often to make sure that no one else has access to your credit.
How to Report Identity Theft
You can report any identity theft to IdentityTheft.gov. All you need to do is tell them about your situation and what happened, and they will create a recovery plan for you. They will also walk you through each recovery step, help you create an account, pre-fill out forms and letters for you, and track your progress.
Social Catfish is Here to Help You!
At Social Catfish, we want to help you verify the identities of those who might seem suspicious to you. If you have their name, email address, phone number, social media username, or image, you can reverse search and see who the suspected person was that you’ve been in contact with if you are wondering how to prevent identity theft during tax season.
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