Tax time scams

Tax season is a popular time for identity thieves. Documents sent and received by taxpayers contain information valuable to identity thieves: your name, address, bank and financial account information, and most importantly, your Social Security number. It’s important to be careful with handling tax-related documents and information.

Ways to minimize the risk of identity theft:

  • Paper Security. Keep tax paperwork in a safe, locked location.
  • Document Disposal. Use a paper shredder for papers you no longer need, like receipts, anything with account and Social Security numbers and loan documents.
  • Online Security. Use and update your firewall, antivirus, and spyware software to protect you from invasion.
  • Mail Theft Prevention. Get your mail every day — your mailbox is an invitation for an identity thief. Use e-file for your federal taxes or take your tax forms directly to the post office.
  • Tax Preparers and Personal Privacy. Be selective who works on your taxes. Ask how your information will be stored, what computer security software is used and if the person working on your taxes has undergone background screening.
  • Tax Time Scams. If you receive an email asking for your Social Security number or financial information, delete it. The IRS does not send emails or use email to contact you to provide checking account information for your return.