As tax season gets underway, so does tax-related fraud. Know what to look for and take steps to protect sensitive information.
SPOTTING TAX FRAUD
Phone Calls: The IRS typically contacts individuals via written notification before calling about tax issues. If someone claims to be from the IRS by phone without prior written notice, end the call.
Email, Text, and Other Contact Methods: The IRS and its agents primarily communicate through letters. They never ask for sensitive information via unsolicited emails, texts, or other means. Avoid clicking on links in such messages and delete them promptly.
PROTECTING YOUR INFORMATION
Choose Wisely: Opt for a reputable tax filing service considering the sensitivity of the information you’ll provide.
File Early: Filing your tax return early can safeguard against tax identity theft, where someone fraudulently files a return using your Social Security number, resulting in the rejection of your legitimate return.
Secure Your Mailbox: Prevent mail theft by securing your mailbox, especially during extended absences, by requesting the postal service hold your mail.
Shred Sensitive Documents: Dispose of documents containing personal and financial information, such as bank statements and tax documents, using a paper shredder. Refer to our Shredding Guide if you are unsure of what to keep or shred. You can also use the shred bins located at GSB’s branches.
Strong Passwords: Always use strong passwords, especially for financial accounts. Avoid saving passwords automatically on your computer; consider using a reliable password manager like Dashlane, NordPass, or RoboForm.