Protecting your identity is always important. This is a year-round endeavor. However, during tax season cyber thieves actively find new ways to scam you out of your hard-earned money or your tax refund by spoofing web sites, pretending to be the IRS, along with dozens of other scenarios. With the annual cost of identity theft to businesses and consumers in the billions of dollars, learning how to protect yourself against identity theft and loss can start with the following tips:
- Read up on federal and state tax filing processes to know what to expect and what not expect.
- The IRS and the California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) will not initiate contact.
- The IRS and the California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) will not ask for confidential taxpayer info through email or phone.
- The IRS and FTB will not call taxpayers with threats of lawsuits or arrests.
- Do not click on links in suspicious or unsolicited emails or text messages.
- Do not transmit personal information while using public Wi-Fi and do not send tax documents unencrypted.
- Reputable tax return preparers have a Preparer Tax ID.