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AARP Georgia Partners with White County Chamber to Prevent Tax Identity Theft

Fraud targeting taxpayers continues to run rampant nationwide. AARP Georgia and the White County Chamber of Commerce are partnering to offer an educational session on Tuesday, March 17, 8:30-10am at the Roy Ash Jr. Community Room (behind United Community Bank), 89 East Jarrard Street, Cleveland, GA 30528. Breakfast will be provided and advance registration is required. The cost is $5 for Chamber Members and $10 for Non-Members. Experts from the Federal Trade Commission and Governor’s Office of Consumer Protection will discuss what businesses can do to protect consumer information, disposal of business records, common ways thieves steal tax returns, and selecting the right tax preparer. To attend, rsvp using this link: http://www.whitecountychamber.org/calendar/.

Con artists can quickly learn a lot about you in order to take your money while also defrauding the government. This AARP Georgia collaboration will empower White County residents to protect their financial assets.

“Tax identity theft has increased significantly over the years in the State of Georgia and the AARP Fraud Watch Network in partnership with the White County Chamber of Commerce are working together to ensure residents and business owners of White County know how to protect themselves from becoming a victim of this scam,” says Charima Young, Associate State Director-Community Outreach, AARP Georgia.

Cindy Bailey, President, White County Chamber of Commerce says, “The White County Chamber of Commerce is excited to partner with AARP in bringing this quality workshop to our community and chamber members. The information that will be provided in the program will be very beneficial to our local businesses and individuals.”

According to the Federal Trade Commission, Georgia ranks #2 in ID theft complaints. In this identity theft scheme, scammers electronically file a tax return under someone else’s name to collect their tax refund. To view the full report: http://www.ftc.gov/system/files/documents/reports/consumer-sentinel-network-data-book-january-december-2013/sentinel-cy2013.pdf

Georgians are also encouraged to visit aarp.org/taxaide (1-888-227-7669) for information about AARP Foundation Tax Aide, the nation’s largest free, volunteer-run tax preparation program. Each tax season, Tax Aide helps millions of low- to moderate-income taxpayers – especially those 60 and older – get the credits and deductions they deserve.

For these and other fraud prevention tips, visit aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork. For local fraud education sessions in Georgia, contact Charima Young, Associate State Director – Community Outreach, AARP Georgia, ccyoung@aarp.org, 404-870-3785. For additional help, contact the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit at 800-908-4490 and visit irs.gov/ identitytheft. For more information from the Governor’s Office of Consumer Protection, please visit www.consumer.ga.gov.

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