It’s tax season, prime time for identity theft. The Internal Revenue Service would like to help you keep safe by offering you some ways you can protect your personal information. Please see the IRS publication “Security Awareness for Taxpayers” for more information on keeping your computer and personal information safe and on how to avoid being phished.
You can be a victim of identity theft even if you never use a computer. Malicious people may be able to obtain personal information (such as credit card numbers, phone numbers, account numbers, and addresses) by stealing your wallet, overhearing a phone conversation, rummaging through your trash (a practice known as dumpster diving), or picking up a receipt at a restaurant that has your account number on it. If a thief has enough information, he or she may be able to impersonate you to purchase items, open new accounts, or apply for loans. The United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) offers some tips about what you can do if your identity is stolen.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) has published a webinar about identity theft, tax identity theft and IRS imposter scams. You can view the Tax Identity Theft Webinar on the ITRC site.