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IRS Raises Awareness About Tax Data And Identity Theft

In advance of the 2018 filing season, the IRS is working with state revenue officials, software providers and tax preparers to combat identity theft. But there are steps that individuals can take to protect themselves from identity thieves.

Ed Mayberry
Dan Parsons with the Better Business Bureau, Brian Goold and Ramsey Covington with the Department of the Treasury

With taxes often being prepared online, it’s important to be careful with your personal information. Special Agent Ramsey Covington with the Treasury Department says a lot of this is common sense.

“Make sure your computer has the most up-to-date software patches installed. Number two, don’t use unprotected wi-fi to transmit personal financial information. One of the ways you can safeguard your personal information is treat it like cash, because that’s the way criminals treat it.”

Scammers who impersonate IRS agents on the phone are often armed with personal information about you. Treasury Department Special Agent Brian Goold.

“Because of the data breaches, they know information about you, and they have access to a variety of database breaches. They buy it on the dark web. And then they use this information to convince people that they are the IRS.”

The IRS will not call you with threats of jail or lawsuits. They will not send email suggesting that you have a refund or that you need to update your account. Don’t overshare personal information on social media, because that’s often mined by scammers. And check your credit report annually, and your bank and credit card statements often.

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