As tax season approaches, criminals are preparing just as much for returns as you are. That is because the rise in fraudulent returns filed has been tremendous, and many people do not realize that they have fallen victim until the IRS denies them their refund.
Equifax shares some tips on how to avoid being among those denied your tax return with proven steps to protect your identity. You can also get better protection from identity theft with use of a credit monitoring service such as the Equifax Complete Protection, which now includes privacy monitoring. Follow tips like these to protect yourself during filing season:
- Be especially aware of those who prepare your tax report. Only seek tax preparation services from reputable businesses. Check with the Better Business Bureau.
- Don’t fall for a spam scam. The IRS never initiates contact through email to ask for personal information.
- Take your completed return to the post office instead of leaving it in your mail box where it could get stolen.
- File early in the season – if you get your return completed before the thief, the thief will be denied their fake return.
Follow these and you will be in a better position to avoid being one of the over 641,690 tax-related identity theft incidents reported by the IRS in 2012. To learn how you can better protect yourself from identity theft and fraud, visit Equifax.com.