Tax-Related ID Theft & What To Do (Part 2)

From the IRS website: 

What is Tax-Related Identity Theft?

It’s when someone uses your stolen Social Security number to file a tax return claiming a fraudulent refund.  You may be unaware that this has happened until you efile your return and discover that a return already has been filed using your SSN. Or, the IRS may send you a letter saying we have identified a suspicious return using your SSN.

Steps to Take If You Become a Victim
If you are a victim of identity theft, the Federal Trade Commission recommends these steps:
* File a complaint with the FTC at
* Contact one of the three major credit bureaus to place a ‘fraud alert’ on your credit records:
– Equifax,, 1-800-766-0008
– Experian,, 1-888-397-3742
– TransUnion,, 1-800-680-7289
* Contact your financial institutions, and close any financial or credit accounts opened without your permission or tampered with by identity thieves.

How to Reduce Your Risk
* Always use security software with firewall and anti-virus protections. Use strong passwords.
* Learn to recognize and avoid phishing emails, threatening calls and texts from thieves posing as legitimate organizations such as your bank, credit card companies and even the IRS.
* Do not click on links or download attachments from unknown or suspicious emails.
* Protect your personal data. Don’t routinely carry your Social Security card, and make sure your tax records are secure.

The IRS does not call or initiate contact with taxpayers by email to request personal or financial information. For more information, go to the

Tom Scanlon has over thirty years experience in public accounting with an extensive background in the areas of financial, tax, and estate planning. He prides himself on providing in-depth and customized solutions to privately held businesses and their owners. He is a Certified Public Accountant and Certified Financial Planner®. Tom is a frequent speaker for area organizations and has  recently been quoted on CNBC, Fox 61 News and AARP's blog. Tom also has been a guest columnist for numerous publications including The Wall Street Journal, Barron's, Money Magazine, The Hartford Courant, The Hartford Business Journal, and The New Haven Register. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Connecticut Society of Certified Public Accountants, and the Financial Planning Association. Active in the community, Tom supports a variety of not-for-profit organizations.