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Preventing Tax-related ID Theft

Identity theft is a global problem, and with numbers rising, it’s important to prevent it.

First, invest in identity theft protection to ward off attacks and monitor fraudulent activity (opens in new tab). You’ll be ahead of ID thieves with the right package.

Identity theft related to taxes can get really messy. If someone steals your ID and uses your Social Security number to claim your tax refund, you may have to pay back taxes.

A missing tax refund isn’t just about the money; it’s also annoying.

So, how do you fend off ID tax fraudsters after your tax return info? Here are some tips to lessen the threat. Even with the best advice and prevention, we’re all at risk.

Keeping your Social Security card at home is a good idea, even if it sounds obvious. This is especially true when travelling, but even going to the mall with your Social Security card can give thieves access to your details.

Identity theft involves a stolen SSN, which the IRS and state tax authorities use to identify millions of Americans. If a thief has your SSN, they can file a fraudulent tax return before you. It could also mean they steal your tax refund.
Hide info

Not sharing your SSN is also key. If someone asks for it via email, make sure it’s a reputable source. Make sure your Social Security Administration statement is accurate. Immediately contact the IRS if you find an error.
Strong logins

You should also strengthen passwords. We all need multiple passwords now, so a password manager is a good idea. In the end, you’ll want the best options for accounting, taxpaying, and online banking.


Complacency about security is easy, but one mistake could let in fraudsters and ID thieves.

No matter your computer, laptop, or mobile device, you need spam and antivirus protection. A small annual investment in ID theft protection can be well worth it.


Also, remove or wipe the data from any old phones, laptops, or computers you plan to sell. Same for USB sticks, memory cards, and storage drives (opens in new tab).

When we need a quick place to store information, we’ve all used external media. If this includes personal documents, make sure everything is erased before you dispose of the hardware or pass it on.

You’re not alone if you always double-check emails from the IRS or a bank you do business with. Phishing attacks are on the rise, and fake emails posing as the IRS or a bank are common.

More often than not, these are phishing attempts to steal your SSN, bank account details, passwords, and anything else criminals can steal. But the IRS will send you a letter, not a phone call.

Even though most of us use digital communications, there’s still a lot of personal paperwork.

It’s one thing to stay organised and keep tax and account information together, but you must also properly dispose of anything you no longer need.

So, buy a quality shredder (opens in a new tab). Balling up unwanted paperwork and throwing it away is a bad idea.
junk out

Not all junk mail is unwanted mail that fills your mailbox. If you get mail with credit card offers, remove yourself from mailing lists.

Pre-approved credit card offers may seem like a good idea, but they could be used to steal your information. Get off unwanted credit card solicitation databases and shred any existing ones.

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Investing in a locking mailbox can help prevent fraudsters from stealing mail. Mail can contain information that can be used to create a profile of you and your personal picture.

Reduce ID thieves’ ability to steal your details by preventing them from opening mail. Easy fix.

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