Tag Archives: ID Theft

10 Tips to Avoid Tax-Time ID Theft

When is the one time during the year you have every single financial document in one place?

Answer: Tax time!

Here are tips from WhatHappensNow and our interview with the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse:

  1. Start a Tax Folder – Keep all of your tax forms, files and scratch paper together in a folder or binder. Keep the folder safe and with you at all times.
  2. Extra Documents – Need a copy of old tax returns, filing instructions or other important information? Head to IRS.gov for fact sheets and other publications.
  3. Don’t Throw! Shred! - Throwing away old records? Use a cross-cut shredder before discarding. Make sure you know what to keep and what to toss: read the IRS’s information on how long you should keep your records.
  4. Phishing for Information
    Watch out for “phishing” e-mail scams. These fraudulent emails might look like they’re coming from a financial or government institution (IRS) but are really scammers trying to get your personal or financial information.
  5. E-filing
    Check your to see if your spyware and anti-virus software is turned on and up-to-date before entering data and sending off your completed forms.
  6. Direct deposit refunds or payments
    Make sure to double-triple-quadruple check your account and routing numbers on your paper or online forms before sending them in.
  7. Keep Copies
    Make sure to keep copies of all the forms and returns you send in.
  8. Sending Tax Returns or Checks by Mail
    Do not leave outgoing checks or mail with sensitive information in your mailbox – they could be stolen. Instead, avoid mail theft by mailing all items at the post office.
  9. Refunds in the Mail
    If you’re expecting a refund or important information, pick up your mail as soon as you have the chance. If you’re headed out of town, arrange for your mail to be held at the post office or have a friend or neighbor pick it up.
  10. Think you might be a victim of ID theft? Read this.

– Susan

Reader’s Home Burglarized – Send Advice

What is it with the burglaries this summer?  A reader contacted us over the weekend about a home burglary (he was out of town at the time).

While the burglars didn’t take much (thankfully), and he’s going through the Get Help – Theft page item by item.

However, he’s also concerned that they did take enough personal info to start a rash of ID thefts.  We sent him the advice on what to do if you suspect ID theft.

If you have advice to share with this reader on what you learned after an ID theft or home burglary, email us (Susan (at) WhatHappensNow.com) and we’ll pass it on and add it to the site.

– Susan

Your Identity Isn’t Foolproof

wallet.jpgLifelock CEO, Todd Davis, after two years of encouraging people to steal his identity in anyway shape or form got exactly what he asked for: a man used Davis’ SSN to receive money from an online payday loan service.

He claims his service, LifeLock, still works – after all, there were 87 previous attempts by others trying to use Davis’ SSN. Others disagree and are suing Davis for false advertising and practices.

The lesson learned here? No one’s identity is safe from theft, not even the identity of a CEO of an identity theft prevention service. So is there still hope for the rest of us? I’d like to think so!

Learn how to spot and prevent identity theft with these top articles and tips from safety experts:

Experienced identity theft? Share your story below!