Getting ready to file your tax return? Or maybe you're an early bird this season and you've already beat the thief to your tax refund? That's great, we know it can be a huge relief to be done or almost done with your taxes so you can relax and just wait for that refund to find its way into your bank account.
But did you know that tax season isn't the only time of year in which you should be wary of tax fraud and identity theft? While the time between January 1st and April 15th is definitely prime time for fraudsters looking to take advantage of your well-earned tax refund, identity thieves are on the prowl all year long. A fraudster looking to take advantage of someone's identity can open a credit line in the summer or submit fake or incorrect information to the IRS to make off with your refund in March.
Protecting your refund and identity throughout the year doesn't have to be a daunting task if you take up smart habits. One of the smartest habits we can encourage you to take up is shredding important documents.
We know that throughout the year you receive tons of mail. Credit card offers, bills, bank statements—most of us receive enough paper mail in a year to wall paper our houses several times! And although it's a lot of mail and our first instinct may be to trash most of it, we have to resist that instinct.
Shredding documents that show information like your name, bank account numbers, addresses and phone numbers, and your SSN is vital in the quest to keep your refund and identity yours. The paper trail you leave in your dumpster is one of the easiest ways for a fraudster to obtain your information. It doesn't require any equipment, any computer knowledge or any cleverly crafted scams.
Investing in a paper shredder will help you not only get into the smart habit of shredding important documents before you trash them, but it will also give you piece of mind that you are being proactive about protecting your identity and tax refund all-year-round.
Identity Guard is committed to helping you not only protect yourself from identity theft, but also understand how it can happen. Count on us to get tips and advice to help guard against all sorts of identity related fraud, including tax fraud.