As indicated by Mark Holzgang in an earlier blog, Identity Theft and Your Taxes, our firm uses state of the art security measures to ensure the safety of your information. In addition, there are a number preventative measures you can take to help reduce your risk if ID theft:
- Avoid wireless network connections or public terminals for sending sensitive information (also be wary of using smart phones, many apps are out there that allow the sending of payment information, be careful).
- Check the credentials of your tax preparer. Often the best reference is through a friend that is happy with their tax person. The Oregon Board of Accountancy’s website is a good place to look to verify a CPA’s credentials.
- If you choose to file a tax return on paper, always use certified mail and never leave your return in an unlocked mailbox—better yet, e-file! There is no truth to the rumor that e-filing increases you chances of being audited.
- If you choose to receive a paper check for a refund, please check your mailbox daily to get to it before someone else does (i.e. from your unlocked mailbox). Better yet, have the refund direct deposited to your bank account.
- This has been mentioned before, but the IRS never uses email to contact taxpayers. If you get an email from the “IRS,” you can forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The latest email phishing scam I’ve heard about involves someone hacking an email account, and using the address to send phony requests for help. The scary thing here is that the victim receives an email from someone they know. It is always best to verify these things though a means other than email.
If you have questions on this, please call our office and speak to one of our professionals!