As part of National Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week, AARP’s Fraud Watch Network and AARP Foundation Tax-Aide are joining forces with federal agencies to highlight the dangers of tax identity theft and recovery steps for victims. To register for the free webinar on February 2 at 12 pm MST, click here.
How it Works:
Tax identity theft occurs when someone steals your personal information for a fraudulent refund or to earn wages. It can involve:
* Filing a tax return using another person’s Social Security number.
* Claiming someone else’s children as dependents.
* Claiming a tax refund using a deceased taxpayer’s information.
What Are The Signs:
* Your Social Security number is lost, stolen or compromised.
* Your tax refund is delayed.
* You receive a notice from the IRS stating it has received a duplicate tax return filing, you have unreported income, or you and somebody else are claiming the same dependents.
What You Should Do:
To avoid becoming a victim of tax identity theft:
* Submit your tax return as early in the tax season as possible.
* Be careful what you share – don’t give out your personal information unless you know who is asking and why, and don’t be shy about refusing!
* Dispose of sensitive information safely – shred it with a micro-cut shredder.
* Know your tax preparer.
Check the status of your refund after filing at www.irs.gov/refunds. If you think someone filed a fraudulent refund with your information, call the IRS Identity Theft line at 800-908-4490. To learn more, visit www.ftc.gov/taxidtheft.
P.S. Spotted a scam? Tell us about it. Our scam-tracking map gives you information about the latest scams targeting people in your state. You’ll also find first-hand accounts from scam-spotters who are sharing their experiences so you know how to protect yourself and your family.