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Important Resources on Identity Theft
Fraud Prevention & Security CenterIdentity theft is an increasingly common and inventive federal crime. Fortunately, there are many preventative measures you can take to substantially reduce the chance of identity theft occurring, as well as steps you can take to minimize damage if you are a victim. Click here to read more about the preventative measures you can take.
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Scam-Proof Your Financial Life Online
The instances of online fraud only seem to grow every year. However, that doesn’t mean you need to swear off the Internet forever. In fact, surfing the web can be safe and worry-free as long as you’re careful; you just need to know how to spot a scam.
To keep your identity and money secure, check out this quick guide to identifying—and avoiding—online fraud.
Multiple Ways ID Theft Can Target Senior Citizens
Identity theft is something we all have to take precautions against. Approximately 1 in 15 Americans experience some type of identity theft each year.* The most vulnerable of us are the elderly who may not have the knowledge of how to protect against identity theft in an ever-increasing electronic world. More troubling is that most senior identity theft is perpetrated by close family or friends who have easy access to personal information. The federal government labels this type of identity theft as “familiar fraud.” Take the time to read up on these identity theft schemes that target seniors.
How to Spot Identity Theft on Your Credit Reports
If you’ve accessed your credit reports at any time in your life, odds are that you have seen some mistaken information in your credit file. After all, statistics show that the solid majority of people have errors on their credit report. Identity theft is one natural concern when this kind of information is found. But you may not need to file that police report just yet. It helps to understand that there are two main types of incorrect information on your credit reports. Learn more by reading this in-depth article.
Video: Guarding Against Identity Theft
Help protect yourself from Identity Theft with this helpful video guide.
Data Security Tips for Remote Workers
Many workers are still working remotely, at least part-time. Moving your “office” to your home has conveniences and challenges — Cybersecurity being one of them. Many people don’t have proper knowledge and preparation for potential security threats. Working from home presents a lot of opportunity for someone’s personal or business data to be compromised or stolen.
The good news is that remote workers can take steps to protect their information and information from their employers. Check out these simple ways to keep your data safe while working from home.
How to Recognize IRS Scams
Scammers use fake names and IRS badge numbers. They generally use common names and surnames to identify themselves.
Scammers may be able to recite the last four digits of a victim’s Social Security number.
Scammers spoof the IRS toll-free number on caller ID to make it appear that it’s the IRS calling.
Scammers sometimes send bogus IRS emails to some victims to support their bogus calls.
Victims hear background noise of other calls being conducted to mimic a call site.
After threatening victims with jail time or driver’s license revocation, scammers hang up and others soon call back pretending to be from the local police or DMV, and the caller ID supports their claim.
If you know you owe taxes or you think you might owe taxes, call the IRS at 1.800.829.1040. The IRS employees at that line can help you with a payment issue, if there really is such an issue.
If you know you don’t owe taxes or have no reason to think that you owe any taxes (for example, you’ve never received a bill or the caller made some bogus threats as described above), then call and report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 1.800.366.4484.
If you’ve been targeted by this scam, you should also contact the Federal Trade Commission and use their “FTC Complaint Assistant” at FTC.gov. Please add “IRS Telephone Scam” to the comments of your complaint.
Taxpayers should be aware that there are other unrelated scams (such as a lottery sweepstakes) and solicitations (such as debt relief) that fraudulently claim to be from the IRS.
The IRS encourages taxpayers to be vigilant against phone and email scams that use the IRS as a lure. The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email to request personal or financial information. This includes any type of electronic communication, such as text messages and social media channels. The IRS also does not ask for PINs, passwords or similar confidential access information for credit card, bank or other financial accounts. Recipients should not open any attachments or click on any links contained in the message. Instead, forward the e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. More information on how to report phishing scams involving the IRS is available on the genuine IRS website, IRS.gov.