Brace yourselves; tax return identity theft season is here. A stunning 15 million people get their identities stolen every year, costing victims around 50 BILLION dollars.
Scammers are out in full force looking for ways to get ahold of your valuable social security number. You need to do everything in your power to make sure that they stay out of your accounts and away from your identity.
Luckily, there are some ways that you can protect yourself from this increasingly common crime. Two of the most common methods include hiring a professional accountant to handle your financial matters and being careful with your sensitive documents. Once you understand how to protect yourself, you can rest easy knowing that your identity is safe.
Let’s dive in and see what YOU can start doing to protect yourself TODAY!
One of the most common ways criminals get their grubby hands on your social security number is through your mail. They are not picky either.
Identity thieves will happily dig through your garbage in hopes of finding their version of treasure — your bank statements, credit card information, hospital bills, and your valuable tax return information. In essence, all they need is one document with your information on it and they will have a field day.
The best way to avoid this method of tax return identity theft is by investing in a simple paper shredder. Thieves cannot get your information if it is shredded into a million little pieces. Trust us, the cost of a shredder far outweighs the years of agony you will have to go through if your identity gets stolen.
In essence, shred every chance they have of getting your information.
Never forget that people need to earn your trust. This rule applies to people that you know personally, and people who are handling your financial matters such as tax returns.
When it comes to people you know, be careful what you leave laying around your house when people you don’t know well are over. There is no reason to be overly paranoid, but at the same time, it probably isn’t a good idea to leave your tax return information laying around if you have guests over for a party.
On the same note, you need to trust the people who are handling your financial matters. You might not be able to “trust” an accountant the same way that you trust a best friend or family member, but that doesn’t mean you can’t trust them at all!
It is crucial to look for professional financial advisors and accountants who know what they are doing and have a history of excellent service. Never get yourself into a situation where you are paying a “friend of a friend” to handle your financial matters — including tax returns — because they do it for next to nothing.
Look into the people you hire and make sure they have positive reviews and stability.
The closer we get to securing our information and only working with professionals, the more frustrated we are making identity thieves. Once they realize that the gig is up, they will eventually dry out and stop scamming. It is going to take a lot of hard work, but the more people try, the more deterred they will become — so take action!
We want to help give YOU peace of mind. If you need to someone for financial advice, tax returns, or help with finances and your small business contact us today for professional, high-quality service!