- ShindelRock - https://www.shindelrock.com -

Identity theft Is on the rise! Here’s how to protect yourself…

[1]Everyone knows identity theft happens, but most people assume it will never happen to them.   When people think about identity theft, they think about things like fraudulent credit card accounts being opened or debit and credit card numbers being stolen.

But lately, there has been an increase in identity theft related to false tax return filings.  Returns are being filed by someone else who obtained a taxpayers name and social security information, but may not have other correct information about the taxpayer. 

If you determine that a false return has been filed, the IRS requests that Form 14039 – Identity Theft Affidavit [2] be filed with a paper copy of your tax return.  This form is filed along with copies of your driver’s license, social security card or passport.

If you are a victim of any type of identity theft, you should review all personal records to determine the extent of the theft.  The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has put together a free comprehensive guide on how to handle the theft.  The guide contains information on the next steps you should take, such as preparing an identity theft report, filing police reports, contacting banks and credit reporting agencies and alerting the Social Security Administration.

The FTC guide, “Taking Charge: What to Do if Your Identity is Stolen,” can be found at the following link:

http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/idtheft2012/ [3]

The best weapon you have against identity theft is prevention.  Below are a few tips for protecting your personal information:

Please contact us [4] if you have any additional questions regarding securing your records, or have questions on what to do if you have been a victim of identity theft.