Five Steps Taxpayers Can Take Now to Protect Against Identify Theft

Taxpayers should make sure they’re doing everything they can to prevent a thief from stealing their identity.

Tax related theft occurs when someone uses a taxpayer’s stolen personal information to file a tax return claiming a fraudulent refund. The thieves use personal information like a social security number.

Here are some tips to help taxpayers protect themselves against identity theft. Taxpayers should:

  • Always use security software. This software should have firewall and anti-virus protections.
  • Use strong, unique passwords. They should consider using a password manager.
  • Learn to recognize and avoid phishing emails, threatening calls and texts from thieves. Scammers pose as legitimate organizations such as banks, credit card companies, and even the IRS.
  • Do not click on links in unsolicited emails or messages from unknown senders. Also people shouldn’t click on links or download attachments from emails that seem suspicious, even if they appear to be from senders they know.
  • Protect personal information and that of dependents. For example, people shouldn’t routinely carry around their social security cards.