They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but there is one type that we would all quickly decline; finding that someone has imitated your identity to reap financial rewards. Identity theft can be a time consuming ordeal that wreaks havoc on your credit score.
According to the IRS and victims of identity theft, the process is a grueling and frustrating one. It is considered a serious crime and can potentially ruin your financial reputation.
How do you abate the chance of identity theft when much of our business is conducted online? The IRS implemented an ID Theft Tool Kit with resources, information and tips like:
- Don’t carry your Social Security card or any document(s) that list your SSN
- Don’t give a business your SSN 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, anti-spam/virus software, update security patches, and change 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
“The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email to request personal or financial information. This includes any type of electronic communication, such as text messages and social media channels.”
The Federal Trade Commission collaborates with law enforcement to implement consumer protection in our global marketplace to defend against unfair, deceptive or fraudulent practices including identity theft. FTC provides consumer processes that prove helpful in the fight against fraudulent activity including:
- Protecting your identity
- Types of identity theft
- What to do right away
- What to do next
The Maddox Thomson team is always here to help.
If you have questions regarding identity theft, call or email us at [email protected]