The case of cyber crime tax fraud worth $15 million in U.S. might be making some progress with the three accused being indicted, however, it raises several questions on the security and privacy of customer information. How safe is your personal information in the hands of your bank, your vendor or even your government? Identity thefts are rampant these days. Accounts of entities as big as Aon Hewitt, Citibank NA, PayPal, JPMorgan Chase Bank, Nordstrom Bank, and the U.S. Defense Department have been compromised. Chances are, some Americans when filing tax returns, will discover that someone has already filed and stolen their refunds.
How do Hackers File False Claims?
Hackers simply need a valid Social Security Number and a few personal details in order to submit a refund claim. They falsify a person’s income and tax details to have the refund sent to their debit card. The U.S. Treasury department revealed that 1.2 million tax payers were affected by tax fraud in 2012, and 1.6 million in the first half of 2013.
How to Save Yourself from Identity Theft?
Protect your SSN: Do not share your Social Security Number with anyone. Avoid carrying your card with you at all times. Only disclose this information where absolutely necessary.
File Sooner than Later: Don’t wait for the last date to file your claims. Do it as soon as possible.
Don’t fall for impostors: Don’t shell out your personal details to anyone claiming to be from IRS on the phone or email. IRS only asks for information by post. So be aware of such emails or phone calls.
Follow these three simple tips and stay guarded to ensure your confidential income data doesn’t fall into wrong hands.