Bruce Dorris, J.D., CFE, CPA, CVA, is vice president and program director for the Austin, Texas-based Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE). With nearly 75,000 members, the ACFE is the world’s largest anti-fraud organization and premier provider of anti-fraud training and education. Dorris offered the following tips for staying ahead of would-be identity thieves during tax season:
1. File as soon as possible. When it comes to filing taxes, those who put it off until the last minute face greater risk.
2. Don’t trust that phone call or email. A common scam involves a fraudster contacting the victim, claiming to be from the IRS and asserting that the taxpayer owes money and must pay immediately.
3. Check your credit history. Free credit reports are available at annualcreditreport.com. Information in your report can indicate whether a tax fraudster has used your identity for nefarious purposes beyond just refund fraud.
4. Report anything suspicious. Emails purporting to be from the IRS, strange phone calls, odd things on your credit report – any of these can be telltale signs of attempted fraud.
5. If you’ve been a victim, create an Identity Theft Report. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), an Identity Theft Report will help you deal with credit reporting companies, debt collectors and businesses that gave the identity thief credit or opened new accounts in your name.
More tips? Hass Associates Accounting may help you. Hass Associates Accounting was at first doing business as the Tax Center and was then evolved to an accounting industry concerning about income tax preparation. Years thought us many things, introduced us many people and their walks of life.