On this fine Easter weekend, I had something I dread on my to-do list. It wasn’t buying gifts, ironing our Church clothes or even cleaning the house for company. It was taxes. <insert creepy suspenseful music here>. On Saturday, my husband and I made the trip to our family accountant praying the whole car ride that we wouldn’t owe additional money. You see, with the loss of my job this year, I had no idea how this would pan out. Many factors had changed for us and I didn’t know how it would effect our return.
Before we got down to the nitty-gritty, our accountant told me a story about a couple in Florida that were selling stolen identifications with the purpose of using them to file fake tax returns for profit (apparently this process is easier than you think). When a fraudulent tax return is filed using your personal information, you will be unable to file your actual tax return because you cannot file twice using the same social security number. With these type of scheme on the rise, it is imperative that you protect your personal information.
I am so happy that LifeLock has my back.
LifeLock constantly monitors my accounts for any sign of fraudulent activity and alerts my immediately. In many cases, time is of the essence! Plus, by playing the LifeLock for Life Sweepstakes, I have gained many tips on what I can do to protect my personal information at tax time including:
- Don’t store tax files on your computer. Save them to a CD or USB drive and keep them in a secure location.
- If you come across an IRS website that doesn’t start with www.irs.gov, report it to email@example.com.
- If you are filing electronically, remember to use a strong password!
- Make sure your tax preparation company is on the up-and-up with the Better Business Bureau by visiting your state’s BBB website: yourstate.bbb.org
- Your tax preparer should never base his or her fee on the amount of your refund.
- The IRS will never initiate contact with you via email or social media.
With Tax Day just two weeks away, take the above tips to heart to keep you and your identity safe from prying eyes. Want more info? Play the LifeLock for Life Sweepstakes for great tips and the chance to win $1,000!