Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week is here! Tax-related identity theft is when someone uses your social security number (SSN) to either to get a job and earn wages or claim your tax refund. When someone uses your SSN to commit tax-related identity theft you may not even realize it until tax time rolls around and you receive a notice in the mail from the IRS telling you that numerous tax returns were filed using your SSN, or that IRS records have wage income from an unknown employer.
As the official IRS tax season begins, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is urging people to be aware of the risks and dangers associated with tax-related identity theft, including scam phone calls, emails, and more that unlawfully coerce people into relinquishing personally identifiable informative (PII) such as social security numbers. Everyone is invited to join the FTC in getting informed about what tax-related identity theft is and how to reduce your chances of becoming a victim of it by checking in on a variety of free webinars and Twitter chats that they will be hosting throughout the week. An impressive number of expert guests visiting from the FTC, IRS, the AARP Foundation Tax-Aide program, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and more will come and speak on behalf of their organizations and offer countless tips and pieces of advice for everyday men, women, seniors, service members, business owners, and more.
As the FTC continues to help people throughout the country avoid tax-related identity theft by providing vital resources and information, it’s up to everyone else to do their part to prevent the spread of this issue by reporting any suspicious phone calls or emails you receive to the proper authorities. As more people report these scams and make complaints, it becomes easier for the people responsible to be held accountable. In one year alone, complaints to the FTC concerning tax-related identity theft fell 11%, with the number of total identity theft complaints to the FTC dropping by over 28,000.
The more informed you are about tax-related identity theft and IRS imposter scams, the more likely you are to be successful in avoiding them, so come get informed! The first official event called “A Webinar for Consumers” will begin at 2 p.m. EST on Jan. 29, 2018, and will be hosted by the Identity Theft Resource Center and the FTC. Visit the FTC website for more details and information on how to participate in all the Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week activities.
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