Avoiding identity theft around tax time


The tax deadline is right around the corner and identity thieves are looking for ways to steal your information.

Springfield Police took multiple reports of tax-related theft.
Tax experts say more people are filing their taxes online than years past. But they advise you to be aware of identity theft.

Jackson Hewitt Tax Service Area Manager Mitch Long say his customers always ask about identity fraud this time of year.

He says to be very careful about filing on your own.

“Things to remember are if you are gonna file on your own and not use a nationally branded corporation that doesn’t have backing, you don’t wanna do it at the library on a public computer, you don’t wanna do it on a public wireless connection because there are phishers out there who can get your information that way,” says Mitch Long.

Springfield Police say to also pay close attention to your mail around tax time.

“Don’t let mail just sit in there for days at a time or even for several hours at a time because occasionally mail will get stolen and sometimes there are account numbers on that information in there,” says Lisa Cox of the Springfield Police Department.

“The IRS does warn that there are a lot of phone scams going on so they warn not to give out any of your information over the phone,” adds Long.

Experts say if you’re mailing your tax documents to your tax person, use certified mail and to careful disposing of or donating an old computer that you’ve used to store personal information on. Even after reformatting the hard drive, your information is often still retrievable.

For those last minute filers you have 13 days left but experts advice not waiting until the last minute, just in case you have any questions.

Experts say to make sure your employer has your up-to-date address on file.
Also, create strong passwords using letters, numbers and symbols for any software or online accounts you may use.

Article source: http://www.kspr.com/news/local/avoiding-identity-theft-around-tax-time/21051620_25313762

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