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Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week Offers Tips to Provide Protection, File Your Taxes Securely

Monday, January 25, 2021

Blog topics:  Archive

By Anna Shei

During tax season, you're tossing out names, addresses, and numbers on several different forms and in different places. It can get confusing making sure you have all the correct information in the right location!

But, protecting your and your families' identities and personal data is an absolute must. Fraudsters are out there, ready to take advantage of any small mishap.

To help consumers stay safe, the Federal Trade Commission launched Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week. Beginning today through Friday, January 29th, the purpose of the campaign is to provide people with the tools and resources to protect themselves, including helpful tips for everything from filing your taxes to making sure that you are due a refund that you receive it.

Thieves will try to steal taxpayer identities, file fraudulent tax returns, and then take those refunds for themselves. Here are a few tips to follow to make sure you don't become a victim.

  • Store your personal information in a secure location
  • Make sure you're entering your personal information on a protected website
  • Choose a trustworthy tax preparer
  • Do not carry your Social Security card with you
  • Shred any documents with personal information on them if they are not needed
  • Make sure you have firewalls, anti-spam/virus software, and updated security patches on your computer
  • Change your passwords regularly for Internet accounts and,
  • Do not give out personal information over the phone, through the mail, or on the Internet unless you know for sure who you are dealing with.

While you take those steps, the Indiana Department of Revenue (DOR) is also working to keep your information safe. DOR's Identity Protection Program protects Hoosier taxpayer's identities and refunds. The program includes an Identity Confirmation Quiz that you may be randomly selected to take. This is not a punishment. DOR just wants to make sure everyone gets their money. The quiz doesn't take long. It asks specific questions only you would know. But know that DOR will send a letter to anyone selected to take the quiz and will never and ask you for your personal information.

To learn more, check out DOR's Stop ID Theft website or visit the IRS website for additional tips, including a YouTube video on some new security measures to follow to protect yourself during the upcoming tax season.