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How-To

Identity Theft – Like Halloween But Not as Fun

 March 17, 2020

By  Tim Starnes

Warning Signs That Your Identity Has Been Stolen

  • Your return is kicked back because a return has already been filed using the same social security number.
  • You receive the transcript for a return that you did not request.
  • A notice comes in the mail that a new online account with the IRS has been created in your name.
  • A notice comes that your IRS account has been either disabled or changed without your permission.
  • IRS records indicate that you have received wages from an employer that you did not work for.
  • You receive a notification that you owe collections on a return that you did not file.
Take Away: It is important to regularly monitor your credit history for alarming changes. There are multiple services available such as Credit Karma, Identity Force, Identity Guard, and Experian.

Unfortunately, some victims aren’t aware that their identity has been stolen until severe damage has been done or it is too late.

Even in handling identity theft, the best offense is a good defense. Visit IdentityTheft.gov for tips on how to secure your personal information before it is leaked online and put into the wrong hands.

My Identity Has Been Stolen! What Should I Do!?

  • Visit IdentityTheft.gov: Visit this site to find helpful guidelines to recover from identity theft, including checklists of tasks, helpful information on reporting identity theft, and more.
  • Act: It will be important to contact your credit card account holders, banks, and insurance companies. They will generally require fraud reports to be filled, as well as additional forms to reverse any fraudulent charges. It will also be important to place a “Freeze” on your credit – this will prevent any actions such as cars being purchased, and apartments being rented from being taken out. Your bank and credit card account holders will also replace your debit and credit cards to prevent any further theft with the initially compromised numbers.

There are government entities that aid with cases of identity theft:

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Even in handling identity theft, the best offense is a good defense. Visit IdentityTheft.gov for tips on how to secure your personal information before it is leaked online and put into the wrong hands.

If you believe you are a victim of tax-related identity theft or a compromised social security number, there are a few options on reporting this to the IRS:

Should it be too late, and the theft has reached another stage, allowing the criminal to access financial records, taxes, and returns, there are a few steps to proceed with:

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