As we enter tax-filing season, it pays to be aware of the signs that point to possible tax identity theft.

HOW IT WORKS

  • Tax identity theft occurs when someone steals your Social Security number to file a fraudulent tax refund or to get a job.

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW 

  • If the IRS receives a duplicate tax return filing using your Social Security number, you will receive a written notice through the mail.
  • Likewise, the IRS will send a notice if you have unreported income or that you and someone else are claiming the same dependents.
  • The IRS will not initiate contact with you by e-mail, text or social media.

To reduce your risk of being victimized by 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. 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.

When it comes to fraud, vigilance is our number one weapon. You can join the Fraud Watch Network and receive alerts about scams happening in South Dakota. Any one of any age can join for free by visiting aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork or to receive Fraud Watch Network alerts by phone, call 1-866-542-8172.