There are many ways an identity thief can victimize unsuspecting Los Angeles consumers. In fact, many of these identity theft traps are surprisingly easy to use. However, one form of theft has been described as “massive” by the U.S. Justice Department: tax identity theft. While tax return season is over, this is still a viable option for thieves and one that all citizens should be on the lookout for constantly.
As reported by The Wall Street Journal, here are a few guidelines that all consumers should use to prevent identity theft, according to the Department of Justice:
- Remember that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) does not contact taxpayers through email or social media to receive personal or financial information. Any such contact claiming to be the IRS is a scam.
- Supposed IRS emails claiming that you are entitled to a refund by clicking on a link and providing personal information are phishing scams. These seek to lure in consumers and obtain personal information for quick identity theft exploitation.
- Be careful with who you select to file your tax returns; there have been many cases of preparers exploiting customers.
- Shredding documents with personal, medical, and/or financial information that you are getting rid of can prevent dumpster diving I.D. thieves from obtaining your information.
- If you believe you are the victim of I.D. theft, you can contact the IRS’ Identity Protection Specialized Unit at (800) 908-4490.
Los Angeles I.D. theft protection attorney Howard D. Silver is dedicated to helping victims of theft put an end to their exploitation and recover the damages they have incurred. If you are suffering the effects of identity theft, call the Law Offices of Howard D. Silver to find out how we can help at (800) 495-3666.