Protect Yourself from ID Theft
Here are some simple, but important tips to protect your information:
- Protect your financial documents. They have your name, address, bank information and Social Security number. Shred documents you don’t need and keep ones you do need locked in a secure place.
- Don’t give a business your Social Security number just because they ask.
- Don’t carry your Social Security card with you.
- Protect your financial information – shred important paper, don’t just throw them away.
- Check your credit report every 12 months for free by directly contacting the three credit report agencies – Experian, Equifax and Trans Union.
- Secure personal information in your home – keep your financial records locked up.
- 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 are sure you know whom you are dealing with.
File and Pay Electronically!
Another way to combat identity theft is to file your taxes electronically. E-filing is significantly more secure than paper filing. When you e-file, your return is processed predominately by computer. This means the fewest possible chances for identity theft. Individual taxpayers can file their taxes online for free if they qualify at www.freefile.dor.in.gov. Businesses can file many of their business taxes online using INtax for free at www.intax.in.gov.
A paper return is handled by dozens of people – postal processing, mail clerks, letter opening, paper organizing, return scanning, the person who reviews and approves information and possibly many others. The list goes on and on. There are a lot opportunities for identity theft with a paper return.
A taxpayer can also securely pay online using our ePay system. For more information, visit www.epay.in.gov.
For a list of safe and secure online services the Indiana Department of Revenue provides, visit www.in.gov/dor/4331.htm.