It’s Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week

tax identity theft awareness logoTax ID thieves are ready — are you?

Tax identity theft happens when someone uses your Social Security number to get a tax refund or a job, and it’s one of the fastest growing forms of identity theft in the U.S. You might find out it’s happened when you get a letter from the IRS saying more than one tax return was filed in your name, or IRS records show you have wages from an employer you don’t know.

Be a part of Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week by learning how to lessen the chance you’ll be a victim and finding out what to do if you are. In addition to events across the country, there will be webinars on Jan. 15, 2014 and Twitter chats on Jan. 16, 2014 in English and Spanish.

For more about these and other programs, go to ftc.gov/taxidtheft. You’ll also find some tweets and tips to share with the people in your networks.  

This week, we’ll share blog posts from partners working to help victims of tax identity theft. In the meantime, the FTC has these tips to fight tax identity theft:

  • File your tax return early in the tax season, if you can.
  • Use a secure internet connection if you file electronically, or mail your tax return directly from the post office.
  • Shred copies of your tax return, drafts, or calculation sheets you no longer need.
  • Respond to all mail from the IRS as soon as possible.
  • Know the IRS won’t contact you by email, text, or social media. If the IRS needs information, it will contact you by mail.
  • Don’t give out your Social Security number (SSN) unless necessary.
  • Research a tax preparer thoroughly before you hand over personal information.
  • If your SSN has been compromised, contact the IRS ID Theft Protection Specialized Unit at 1-800-908-4490.
  • Check your credit report at least once a year for free at annualcreditreport.com to make sure no other accounts have been opened in your name.

More information about tax identity theft is available from the FTC at ftc.gov/taxidtheft and the IRS at irs.gov/identitytheft.

Blog Topics: 
Privacy & Identity

Comments

Within the past two weeks, I received a letter from a Slate from CHASE bank. Chase Manhatten? I noted that there was a check all ready for me to use. I read the information carefully,noted that there was a number I could call if I wanted no more of such checks/mailings. I called the number and told them that I wished to receive no further info from them. The person who answered said that they would be happy to do that and . . . would I provide my Social Security number so that this could be done. I immediately hung up without providing my S.S. number.
Yesterday . . . I received another CHASE letter. In it was this sentence: "You can choose to stop receiving 'prescreened'offers of credit from this and other companies by calling toll-free 1-888-567-8688. See PRESCREEN 7 OPT-OUT NOTICE in the accompanying Terms & Conditions for more information." I will not call lest I be asked the same question again.

Unfortunately, I threw away the first communication. Istill have the second.

The return address on the envelope is:
CHASE (with a logo)
P.O. Box 17198
Wilmington, DE 19850-7198

Should I take them up on their financial offer, the address on the envelope provided will be sent to: NEW CARDMEMBER SERVICES
PO Box 15218
WILMINGTON DE 19885-5218.

I will leave it to you to determine if this is a ligitimate company, or if they just want my Social Security Number.

I write not only for myself, but for unsuspecting persons who do not realize the danger of providing their Social Security number by phone or other means.

Thank you for reading. No response is necessary.

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