Fraud Friday: Tax Season Security

Apr 12, 2024 | Featured, General News

Tax season is a busy time for everyone, even scammers. This Fraud Friday, we’re taking a look at how to protect your identity in relation to taxes.

As we quickly approach the tax filing deadline of April 15, scammers are surely ramping up their efforts to steal identities. At Guthrie County State Bank, we are dedicated to ensuring our community members stay vigilant against potential identity theft scams during this time.

One of the biggest offenders during tax season are fraudulent Internal Revenue Service (IRS) impersonators. While pretending to be from the IRS, scammers will often claim there are issues with your tax return or may request updates to your filing information.

Here are some key reminders and red flags to remember in order to avoid scams during tax season:

Don’t Fall for Phone Calls, Texts, or Emails: The IRS doesn’t initiate contact via email or phone for tax return verifications. Do not engage with any such correspondences and immediately report the instance to the IRS. You can also report any suspicious tax-related emails to phishing@IRS.gov.

Guard Your Social Security Number (SSN): Your SSN is a prime target for identity theft so keeping it safe and private to only you is crucial. Store your Social Security card securely and never disclose your SSN over the phone or via email.

Securely Dispose of Sensitive Documents: Shred any tax-related papers once you are done with them and have filed separate copies. Anything containing sensitive personal data such as SSNs, bank account details, or unused credit card offers should be shredded and securely
discarded.

Protect Your Digital Information: Many people store digital copies of their tax documents on their computer. If you don’t already have it, consider installing anti-virus software to enhance your cybersecurity measures.

If you think you may have fallen victim to a tax-related scam, follow these steps:
1. Contact the IRS immediately. In the case of identity theft, you should fill out an Identity Theft Affidavit.
2. File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission via www.identitytheft.gov.
3. Monitor your finances and credit report for any unauthorized or suspicious activity.

By staying informed and proactive, you can safeguard your identity and financial well-being throughout this tax season and each one to come. Remember, at Guthrie County State Bank, your security is our priority every day of the week, not just on Fraud Fridays. Stay alert and stay secure.