Thieves try to use the stolen data as quickly as possible to:
- Sell the information to other criminals
- Withdraw money from a bank account
- Make credit card purchases
- File a fraudulent tax return for a refund using victims’ names
- Determine what information the thieves compromised
- Take advantage of credit monitoring service when offered by the affected organization
- Place a freeze on credit accounts. At a minimum, victims should place a fraud alert on their credit accounts by contacting one of the three major credit bureaus. A fraud alert isn’t as secure as a freeze, but it’s free.
- Reset passwords on online accounts. Use different passwords for each account. Experts recommend at least 10-digit passwords, mixing letter, numbers and special characters.
- Use multi-factor authentication
All taxpayers should keep a copy of their tax return. Taxpayers may need their Adjusted Gross Income amount from their prior year tax return to verify their identity.