Thousands of Americans are eligible to receive refunds from Uncle Sam in 2014, and it’s not just Certified Public Accountants that will be busy; tax season is prime-time for identity thieves. With all of the personal information contained in tax documents, cons will try every trick in the book to obtain these documents in order to get Social Security numbers and intercept refunds.
To help consumers understand the risks of tax-related identity theft, your Better Business Bureau serving Northeast California is teaming up with the Federal Trade Commission and the Internal Revenue Service for Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week, Jan. 13 – 17, 2014.
According to the IRS, nearly 1,500 tax identity theft related criminal investigations were launched in 2013—an increase of 66 percent from 2012. To protect consumers, the IRS, FTC and BBB have expanded efforts to educate taxpayers and help victims.
Avoid becoming a victim of tax identity theft:
If personal information is compromised, take immediate proactive steps to recover:
Remember, the Internal Revenue Service will never initiate contact by email, text or social media; if information is needed, the organization will make contact and clearly verify the identities of contactors.
For more information on identity theft and additional tips on how to combat scams, check out the FTC’s Identity Theft Guide.