News for those who live, work and play in the Santiam Canyon

Tips to protect your identity during tax season

Tax identity thieves and IRS imposters are ready for tax season, whether you are or not!

There are two major forms of Tax ID Theft.

One is when someone uses your Social Security number (SSN) to file a phony tax return and collect your refund. You may not find out it has happened until you try to file your real tax return and the IRS rejects it as a duplicate filing.

The other major form is when an IRS imposter calls you and says they are from the IRS. They claim you owe taxes and demand that you pay right now, usually with a gift card or prepaid debit card. They will often go as far as to threaten that you’ll be arrested if you don’t pay. But it’s all a lie. If you send the money, it’s gone.

How can you protect yourself from tax ID theft? 

• Protect your SSN throughout the year. Don’t give it out unless there’s a good reason and you’re sure who you’re giving it to.

• File your tax return as early as you can.

• Use a secure internet connection if you file electronically, or mail your return from the post office.

• Research a tax preparer thoroughly before you hand over personal information.

Other resources can be found at https://consumer.ftc.gov/.

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