Tips to protect you from becoming a victim of identity theft
Don’t carry your Social Security card or any documents that include your Social Security number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN).
Don’t give a business your SSN or ITIN just because they ask. Give it only when required.
Protect your financial information.
Check your credit report every 12 months.
Secure personal information in your home.
Protect your personal computers by using firewalls and anti-spam/virus software, updating security patches and changing passwords for Internet accounts.
Don’t give personal information over the phone, through the mail or on the Internet unless you have initiated the contact or you are sure you know who you are dealing with.
If your tax records are not currently affected by identity theft, but you believe you may be at risk due to a lost or stolen purse or wallet, questionable credit card activity or credit report, contact the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit at 800-908-4490, extension 245 (Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. local time; Alaska and Hawaii follow Pacific time).
If you believe you’re a victim of identity theft
Be alert to possible identity theft if you receive a notice from the IRS or learn from your tax professional that:
More than one tax return for you was filed;
You have a balance due, refund offset or have had collection actions taken against you for a year you did not file a tax return;
IRS records indicate you received more wages than you actually earned or
Your state or federal benefits were reduced or cancelled because the agency received information reporting an income change.