Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week: Jan 26-30
Every year, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) dedicates a week to spreading awareness about the growing crime of tax identity theft. Tax identity theft involves the compromise of one’s tax ID, which can be used by thieves to collect a tax refund or even a job. Examples of a tax ID include a Social Security Number, Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, Employer Identification Number, and Preparer Tax Identification Number.
As consumers prepare to file their tax returns, the FTC encourages consumers to be aware of the various warning signs of tax ID theft. For example, if you were paid by an employer that you do not know, or receive a notice from the IRS that you filed more than one tax return, there is a decent chance that you are a victim of tax identity theft. The FTC also warns consumers to be skeptical of any e-mails from senders claiming to be the IRS. It is best to contact the IRS directly if one is unsure.
The FTC will dedicate the week of January 26-30, 2015 to educate consumers on tax identity theft, offering webinars, presentations, articles and blog posts to help spread the word.
In the event that consumers believe they have been a victim of tax identity theft, the FTC offers the following tips:
- Contact the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to report the fraudulent activity
- Put a fraud alert on your credit reports
- File an identity theft report with the FTC and also a police report
It is also a wise idea to contact a consumer protection lawyer for legal consultation and advice. For more information on tax identity theft and Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week, visit the FTC website.