Criminals do not take breaks in taking advantage of every opportunity of scamming people of their hard earned money. Tax Season is no different. Tax refund identity theft happens when bad guys get their hands on your personal information, such as your name, date of birth and/or Social Security number that they then use to file a fraudulent tax return and obtain a refund.
People can prevent this by filing your tax returns early. By filing early, it takes away the chance for identity thiefs to file a fake one on your behalf.
For so many years, the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) has put in place additional safeguards to protect filers against identity theft. Although there are safeguards, taxpayers should be aware that tax refund identity theft is still possible and criminals are getting more creative in the ways they do it.
The IRS does a lot of crack downs, but fraudulent people still find new ways to steal your data and claim for refunds. They even target the tax preparers also.
Tax preparers are targets for hacks. With the IRS strengthening their effors to detect bogus tax returns, hackers are focusing their attention to tax preparers. By doing this, they can attemptto get all the information they need to file a fraudulent return that will pass the higher scrutiny now being implemented to all tax submissions.
Having are reputable tax preparer and filing early, it would minimize your risk. Do intensive research when looking for the right accountant. When you have found the right one for you, this would make you feel at ease providing them with your information.
They are specifically being targetting by hackers. And by having the right accountant, you should be aware of their security measures how they protect your data. It is not a bad thing to be paranoid sometimes. You still need to sometimes scrutinize how they work. It woudn’t be too cautious ig you ask your tax preparer if they firm have ever have been hacked. You can also ask them what security measures they have in place to prevent fraud and theft.
Security software like virus and anti-malware software and even VPN or other firewalls are regularly used to protect client information stored on their computers. Backup measures are also important. Proper training for employees to know security protocols and measures are utmost. As an example, they should know not to open or click links and attachments from unknown emailers.
If in the event that you notice a refund you were not expecting from your bank account, it is a very good indicator that you might have been a victim of tax fraud. This will typically be followed by a call to let you know that it was deposited accidentally and to transfer to an account posing as the IRS.
Let your bank know about the situation, and they might end up closing your account since it has been compromised. Next step is to contact IRS to let them you that you suspect that you have been a victim of tax fraud. Let your tax preparer know about it as well since they might have been compromised too.