Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week
This week is Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week, and Attorney General Pam Bondi urges Floridians to be aware of identity theft and tax-related scams during this tax season. “I encourage Floridians to educate themselves on tax-related scams,” said Attorney General Pam Bondi. “If anyone feels that they are victim to theft or fraud, they should contact my office immediately at 1-866-9-NO-SCAM.”
Tax identity thieves may access personal information in the following ways:
· Going through trash cans and dumpsters to search for bills and documents with sensitive information;· Calling or emailing individuals to trick them into revealing personal information; and· Posing as a legitimate tax preparer for the purpose of accessing information.
The following are tips to avoid identity theft and tax fraud:
· File tax returns early in the tax season;· Use a secure internet connection when filing electronically. Do not use unsecure, publicly available Wi-Fi hotspots;· Mail tax returns directly from the post office, not from your home;· Know that the IRS will never initiate contact by email, phone, text or social media. If the IRS needs information, it will first contact by mail;· Do not give out Social Security numbers unless absolutely necessary; · Get recommendations and research a tax preparer thoroughly before providing personal information;· If your Social Security number has been compromised, contact the IRS ID Theft Protection Specialized Unit at 800-908-4490; and· Check credit reports for free at AnnualCreditReport.com to make sure no accounts are opened in your name.
Consumers can file complaints about tax-related scams and other types of fraud by calling the Attorney General’s toll-free fraud hotline at 1-866-9-NO-SCAM (1-866-966-7226) or visiting MyFloridaLegal.com.