7 Tips to Prevent Tax ID Fraud

7 Tips to Prevent Tax ID Fraud
7 Tips to Prevent Tax ID Fraud
As the 2017 tax season gets underway, Kennebec Federal Savings is urging all customers to
take extra precaution when filing their return to prevent their exposure to tax fraud.
Fraudsters are using very clever tactics to get a hold of your personal information and submit
false tax claims. Consumers must be suspicious of any communication from the IRS  through
email, text or social media  that requests personal information, and should keep a watchful
eye out for missing W-2s and mail containing sensitive financial information.
Tax identity fraud takes place when a criminal files a false tax return using a stolen Social
Security number in order to fraudulently claim the refund. Identity thieves generally file false
claims early in the year and victims are unaware until they file a return and learn one has
already been filed in their name.
To help consumers prevent tax ID fraud, KFS is offering the following tips:

File early. File your tax return as soon as you’re able giving criminals less time to use
your information to file a false return.

File on a protected Wi-Fi network. If you’re using an online service to file your
return, be sure you’re connected to a password-protected personal network. Avoid using
public networks like a Wi-Fi hotspot at a coffee shop.

Use a secure mailbox. If you’re filing by mail, drop your tax return at the post office
or an official postal box instead of your mailbox at home. Some criminals look for
completed tax return forms in home mailboxes during tax season.

Find a tax preparer you trust. If you’re planning to hire someone to do your taxes,
get recommendations and research a tax preparer thoroughly before handing over all of
your financial information.

Shred what you don’t need. Once you’ve completed your tax return, shred the
sensitive documents that you no longer need and safely file away the ones you do.

Beware of phishing scams by email, text or phone. Scammers may try to solicit
sensitive information by impersonating the IRS. Know that the IRS will not contact you
by email, text or social media. If the IRS needs information, they will contact you by
mail first.

Keep an eye out for missing mail. Fraudsters look for W-2s, tax refunds or other
mail containing your financial information. If you don’t receive your W-2s, and your
employer indicates they’ve been mailed, or it looks like it has been previously opened
upon delivery, contact the IRS immediately.
If you believe you’re a victim of tax identity theft or if the IRS denies your tax return because
one has previously been filed under your name, alert the IRS Identity Protection Specialized
Unit at 1-800-908-4490. In addition, you should:
January 2017
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7 Tips to Prevent Tax ID Fraud

Respond immediately to any IRS notice and complete IRS Form 14039, Identity
Theft Affidavit.

Contact your bank immediately, 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:

o
Equifax, www.Equifax.com, 1-800-525-6285
o
Experian, www.Experian.com, 1-888-397-3742
o
TransUnion, www.TransUnion.com, 1-800-680-7289
Continue to pay your taxes and file your tax return, even if you must do so by paper.
More information about tax identity theft is available from the FTC at ftc.gov/taxidtheft and the
IRS at irs.gov/identitytheft.
January 2017
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