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Tax Security Tips

It’s tax season, so that, of course, means scams are rampant. Follow these tax security tips to help you stay safe and secure this time of year.


File your taxes early


By filing early, you reduce the window of opportunity for scammers to file a fake return using your info. If it’s too late for you to file early, consider filing for an extension to give yourself more time to prepare your return.


Keep your Social Security number (SSN) safe


Your SSN is a valuable piece of personal information for identity thieves. To keep it safe, avoid carrying your Social Security card with you and never unnecessarily share your SSN. When filling out tax forms, double-check your SSN to ensure it’s accurate. If you suspect your SSN has been compromised, contact the Social Security Administration ASAP! Additionally, if you receive a notice from the IRS suggesting that someone else has already filed a return using your SSN, contact the IRS and follow their instructions to resolve the issue.


Use strong, unique passwords when filing taxes


Your online tax accounts contain sensitive information, so it’s important to use strong passwords that are difficult to guess. It’s also essential to use different passwords for each account. This way, if one account is compromised, your other accounts won’t also be at risk. Finally, enable two-factor authentication whenever possible to add an extra layer of security to your accounts.


Be wary of phone scams


Phone scams are a common tactic used by scammers to trick people into revealing their personal and financial data. These scammers often pose as IRS agents and threaten legal action if you don’t pay an alleged tax debt immediately. If you receive a suspicious call, hang up and report it to the IRS.


Secure your mailbox


Identity thieves do more than just plunder your online info. They also look for sensitive information in mailboxes. Make sure your mailbox is secure and is emptied daily. For the best security, consider using a locked mailbox or a P.O. box for protecting your mail.


Use secure Wi-Fi networks


When filing your taxes online, be sure to use a secure Wi-Fi network to prevent hackers from intercepting your information. Avoid using public Wi-Fi networks, as they can be easily compromised. Instead, use a secure, password-protected Wi-Fi network you trust.


Beware of tax scams


Scammers love tax season, when there’s ample opportunity to trick people into revealing their personal and financial information. Be wary of any unsolicited emails, phone calls or text messages claiming to be from the IRS or other tax entities. Also, be skeptical of any promises of big refunds or threats of legal action. If it sounds too good to be true, or unbelievably urgent, it probably is.


Follow these tips to keep your money and your information safe this season. 

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