Imagine after sending in your annual tax return, you receive a notice from the Internal Revenue Service saying that another return has already been filed using your name and Social Security number—and claiming a refund.
It can happen if you become one of a growing number of victims of tax return identity theft.
According to one estimate, tax-related identity theft cases have soared more than 650% since 2008. At the least, this crime can lead to a delay in your refund, but the consequences may be much more serious. In addition, you may face a larger problem with identify theft if the scammer is also running up credit card debt or taking out loans in your name.
To avoid becoming a victim, we recommend steps such as:
- Safeguarding your Social Security number and other financial information;
- Keeping an eye on changes to your credit ratings; and
- Taking precautions with electronic transfers of confidential information.
Be sure to contact us if you believe you have been a victim of identity theft or would like advice on the best ways to secure your financial information.