Identity theft is a big concern for everyone, but one that can be minimized if you follow these simple steps:
- Don’t carry your Social Security card or any documents with your SSN or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) on it.
- Don’t give a business your SSN or ITIN just because they ask. Give it only when required.
- Protect your financial information.
- Check your credit report every 12 months.
- Secure personal information in your home.
- Protect your personal computers by using firewalls, anti-spam/virus software, update security patches and change passwords for Internet accounts.
- Don’t give personal information over the phone, through the mail or on the Internet unless you have initiated the contact or you are sure you know who you are dealing with.
If your tax records are not currently affected by identity theft, but you believe you may be at risk due to a lost or stolen purse or wallet, questionable credit card activity or credit report, contact the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit at 800-908-4490, Ext. 245 (Mon. – Fri., 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. local time; Alaska & Hawaii follow Pacific Time).
Remember the IRS will not contact you by email so any email your receive that says it from the IRS is a scam. Be careful.