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Protecting Yourself from Identity Theft

The IRS recently released a list of tips to help taxpayers protect themselves from becoming a victim of identity theft. A common crime that scammers will commit is filing a false tax return with other people’s information and receiving the refund from that fake return. The scammer will get your information, including your social security number, then create a tax return which produces a fictitious refund that they will then intercept when the IRS issues it.

The IRS has the following tips:

• Always use security software which includes antivirus protection and have a firewall.
• Use strong and unique passwords. You should also not duplicate passwords for your other accounts, each account should have its own password.
• Learn to recognize when an unsolicited communication is from a scammer whether it be from an email, text, or threatening phone call. You shouldn’t click on links or give out any personal information to any communication where you don’t know who it is from.
• Protect your personal information and that of your dependents. For example you shouldn’t carry around your social security card.
• Get an identity protection pin. This is a 6 digit code that only you and the IRS knows what it is which will help prevent a scammer from filing a return in your name/social security number:

https://www.irs.gov/identity-theft-fraud-scams/get-an-identity-protection-pin

Please consult your tax advisor on the above issues.

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