A recent study by identity theft and credit management institute Privacy Guard found that more and more people are becoming susceptible to identity theft and their taxes. Due to common misconceptions and lack of knowledge about contacts from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), U.S. citizens are at risk of having their identities stolen, according to a recent report by The Sacramento Bee.
According to a 2010 Consumer Complaint Report by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), 15% of identity theft claims were caused by tax or wage fraud. A survey by Privacy Guard showed that while people are knowledgeable about protecting their identities and information, they are unsure about the IRS. Many mistakenly believed the IRS can contact them through email instead of realizing this can be an identity theft trap.
In order to avoid tax-related fraud from affecting you or a loved one, be aware of any suspicious contact concerning tax refunds, filing, or checks. Also, make sure your tax preparer is legitimate and mail your tax documents in a secure way. When you are finished with documents that contain confidential information thread them. Do not put them in a trash bin where they can be accessed by an identity thief. Also, secure the information on your computer to keep thieves from accessing your personal data.
Identity theft can damage your finances and can be difficult to prove or remove from your financial records. For help, contact San Bernardino identity theft attorney, Howard D. Silver. For more information, call the Law Offices of Howard D. Silver at (855) 341-2611.