It is tax season, again! Benjamin Franklin said, “Nothing is certain except death and taxes.” He didn’t say anything about tax refund fraud through identity theft.
As recently as last week, Boca Raton Police officers arrested suspects who were in possession of tax return forms and pre-paid Visa cards associated with those fraudulent forms. The paperwork included the victim’s names, Social Security numbers, addresses and the dollar amounts of the returns. To help guard your identity and reduce the chances of becoming a victim, please take the following precautions:
- Shred all documents that contain personal information, including credit card applications, subscriptions, etc.
- Do not share your Social Security number with anyone!
- At least once a year, obtain a copy of your credit report from the three major credit reporting agencies- identify and report any discrepancies.
- Do not provide any personal information over the phone, unless you are absolutely sure to whom you are speaking.
- Shop only on secure and reputable websites.
- File your tax returns early. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) starts accepting forms on January 17th.
If you think you have been a victim of tax refund fraud, contact the IRS at www.irs.gov. For all other reports of identity theft, contact your local law enforcement agency.
For more information, contact the Boca Raton Police Department’s Crime Prevention Unit at (561) 347-3938 or CrimePreventionUnit@myboca.us.