Will Your Risk of Identity Theft Increase During Tax Season?

Make Sure Tax Prep Doesn't Result in Identity Theft

When tax time comes your personal information is everywhere. From social security numbers to employer and income information, it's an identity theft nightmare waiting to happen. Unless, of course, you're a thief. Then it's identity theft paradise. Here are some tips to keep you safe from identity theft during tax season.

Your Mailbox Is a Treasure Chest

The first thing you need to remember is that your mailbox is an identity theft treasure chest this time of year. When those income tax forms start coming in, you'd better guard your mail with your life. If someone gets a hold of those forms they'll know your social security number, who you work for and how much money you make each year. If you don't yet have a locking mailbox, now would be the perfect time to get one.

Be Careful Who You Trust

You need to be careful who you go to for income tax preparation. This person is going to have access to all of your financial information, and I mean ALL of it. If it falls into the wrong hands, you're going to be at a very high risk of identity theft.

Don't trust fly-by-night companies that hire "seasonal" workers who take a 2-hour tax course to do your tax preparation. You need to find a tax preparation service that is dedicated to providing year-round financial services to its clients. Then you will know for sure that you are working with a professional and not someone who took the job just to get access to the personal information of others.

Be Careful What Websites You Use

A lot of people use online tax services, and they are definitely a valuable resource. Just make sure you are dealing with a reputable site if you do decide to go this route. Clone websites can be set up with the sole purpose of harvesting your information. Never follow a link in an email. Always type the URL of your tax website directly and make sure that your information is always sent via a secure connection.

Tax season is ripe for the picking when it comes to identity theft criminals, but you don't have to fall victim to the crime. By keeping the above things in mind, you can get through tax season without putting yourself at an increased risk of identity theft.

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