Phoenix CPA | Identity Theft

Becoming the victim of identity theft can be one of the most frustrating and stressful parts of your life. It can take years to recover and sometimes you never recover from it. Tax related identity theft occurs when someone uses your stolen information, such as social security number and name, to file a fraudulent income tax return. Many times, you will not even be aware you have been the victim of identity theft until it’s too late. Here are some tips and things to know regarding identity theft.

You can protect your identity by not carrying your social security card or other documentation with your social security number on it. Only provide your social security number if it’s required and you know who you are giving it to. Protecting your computers with anti-virus software is another way to protect yourself. You should also routinely change your passwords for websites.

Be aware of scams that are currently being used. The IRS will never call you to demand payment. They will also not call unless they have first sent you multiple mailings.

If you become the victim of identity theft, the first thing you should do is file a police report. You should then contact the 3 major credit bureaus so they can place a freeze on your account. The next step would be to file a form 14039 Identity Theft Affidavit with the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS will then put a notice on your account to be aware of the identity theft and will assign you a unique Identity Protection PIN to use when filing your income tax returns. This will help the authorities to catch the ID thief when a tax return with your social security number is filed.

If you have any questions, please contact us at Dusseau & Makris, PC, your Phoenix CPA firm.