The Central Bank of Boone County says tax identity theft has been the most common form of ID theft in the last five years. The IRS says they’ve convicted nearly 2000 identity thieves in recent years.
But citizens can also help prevent identity theft before it happens to them.
First thing people can do is file early. By filing early, the identity thieves have less time to use your social security number to file a false tax return before you do. Also, file using a secure wifi network to avoid hackers.
Using a secure mailbox to mail your tax return, like at the post office or an official postal box, also helps deter identity thieves.
Use a trust tax preparer. Ask friends or family for recommendations, or read online reviews.
Shredding any non-essential documents also helps keep identity thieves away by not giving them any additional information they may need.
Remember, the IRS will never call you with questions or looking for money. They will always write a letter to your home.