Identity theft is one of the biggest issues that plagues thousands of citizens per day. It happens when a malicious person uses another person’s identity to commit fraud or other crimes using the victim’s name, Social Security number or other personal information. Identity theft is one of the largest financial threats that threatens people without identity protection.

One way a malicious person can abuse another person’s identity is by filing a fake tax return, or to use a hijacked identity to fraudulently open a new credit card account.

New credit card accounts created with identity theft will end up being billed and not paid off. The delinquents account (whoever’s identity belongs to that account) will show that there is an unpaid bill being processed under their name that will need to be paid for.

When it comes to federal taxes, taxpayers may not be aware that they have become victims of identity theft until they receive a letter from the Internal Revenue Service stating that their are more than one tax returns being filed with their information, or IRS records shows wages from an employer that the taxpayer has not worked for in the past.

Protect Yourself

There are many ways you can have your identity stolen. One way is by phishing. Phishing is the attempt to obtain sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details (and sometimes, indirectly, money), often for malicious reasons, by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication. With so much of our information out there on the web, it is necessary to take the proper precautions to ensure you have adequate identity protection. One of the best new ways is by setting up an IP PIN through the IRS.

An IP PIN is a six-digit number assigned to eligible taxpayers that helps prevent the misuse of their Social Security number on fraudulent federal income tax returns. You can’t use an IP PIN as your e-file signature PIN. Setting up your PIN is a relatively simple procedure, the IRS will set up IP PIN’s to attempt to bolster the identity protection of American citizens.

To get your IP PIN, you must verify your identity online to the IRS. Then, you will need to have immediate access to your email account and mobile phone to receive confirmation codes. If you’re eligible, you’ll receive your IP PIN online once the IRS verifies your identity. They will send you a new IP PIN each December by postal mail.

To register and use this service, you need:

  • Your Social Security number, date of birth, filing status and mailing address from latest tax return,
  • Access to your email account,
  • Your credit card number or account number from an auto loan, mortgage, home equity loan or home equity line of credit, and
  • A mobile phone with your name on the account.

Computers have brought an entirely new way for people to have their identity stolen from them. Thankfully the IRS is being proactive in trying to protect American citizens by avoiding the frightening and messy chance of identity theft. Strengthening your identity protection through an IP PIN is one of the best modern ways to avoid identity theft.

Taxes are scary enough without someone trying to file a fraudulent tax return. If you need help with your personal or small business tax filing, tax preparation, or any other services, contact Best Tax Experts for that guidance, help, and solutions you need.

Are you a victim of identity theft?

If you receive a notice from IRS and you suspect your identity has been used fraudulently, respond immediately.