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In the coming weeks, Americans will begin filing tax returns. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recognizes Jan. 13 through 17, as Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week, and reminds consumers to be mindful of the potential for this crime as they are preparing tax returns.
Tax-related identity theft is when scammers steal your Social Security number and use your good credit to attempt to obtain a job or try to steal your tax return check. Find out more about tax identity theft on the FTC website.
Consumers should follow the tips below to help protect themselves from this type of crime:
- Deal with a reputable income tax preparer.
- File early. If a scammer uses your identity to try to file a return but you have already filed your return, he or she will be blocked.
- If filing electronically, make sure you use a secure Internet connection with anti-virus software running.
- If filing via regular mail, take your form to the post office instead of leaving it in a mailbox.
- Never give information out via an unsolicited email or phone call.
For more tips, please refer to the Equifax investor site.
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