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7 tips to prevent tax fraud

Updated on April 9, 2016

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7 tips to prevent tax fraud

Identity fraud occurs when an offender files false tax returns using stolen social security numbers to fraudulently claim a refund. Identity thieves tend to file false claims at the beginning of the year and the victims did not know until they file a Declaration and learn one was already filed in their name.

Follow these tips to help prevent evasion of ID:

At the beginning of the file. File your tax return as soon as you are able, giving less time to use your information for the purpose of filing a false return of criminals.

File to a secure wi-fi network. If you use an online service to file your return, make sure you are connected to a personal password-protected network. Avoid using public networks like wi-fi hotspot in the cafe.

Use a secure mailbox. If you are submitting by mail, drop your tax return at a post office or official mailbox instead of your mailbox at home. Some criminals seek forms completed tax returns in mailboxes at home during tax season.

Find a tax preparer that you trust. If you plan to hire someone to do your taxes, get advice and research tax preparer carefully before passing all of your financial information.

Shred, that you don't need. Once you have finished your tax return, shred confidential documents you no longer need and safely file away the ones you do.

Beware of phishing e-mail, text or phone. Fraudsters may attempt to obtain sensitive information by impersonating the IRS. I know that the IRS does not contact you by email, text or social media. If the IRS requires information, they will send you email first.

Keep an eye out for missing mail. Scammers look for W-2s, tax returns or other mail containing your financial information. If you have not received your W-2s, and your employer indicates they were mailed, or it looks like it was previously opened after delivery, immediately contact the IRS.

If you believe you are a victim of identity theft, tax or if the IRS rejects your tax return, because the one previously submitted under your name, alert the IRS identity protection specialized unit at 1-800-908-4490. In addition, you need to:

Immediately respond to any IRS notice and fill out IRS form 14039, Identity theft affidavit.

Immediately contact your Bank and close any accounts opened without your permission or tampered with.

Contact the three major credit bureaus to place a "fraud alert" on your credit records:

Equifax, www.Equifax.com, 1-800-525-6285
Experian, www.Experian.com, 1-888-397-3742
TransUnion, www.TransUnion.com, 1-800-680-7289

Continue to pay taxes and file your tax return, even if you have to do it on paper.

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