Making sure you are safe from identity theft can be as simple as doing a public records check on yourself. SpyFly makes it convenient to perform public records checks, criminal background checks, and many other tasks that can keep you safe. There is a lot of identity theft-related criminal activities going on these days, so it is a smart idea to use any leverage you can against criminals. Being aware is more than half of the battle won because most of the damage is done without any knowledge of the theft happening until it is too late.
It seems like year after year, we hear the same stories and get the same warnings about the high chance of falling victim to Identity-theft and fraud during tax season. The fact that information crises seem to be more common than ever only adds fuel to the fire, and to our fear. If you’re concerned that your tax return or your identity may have been compromised, or if you want to be precautionary, then take a moment to educate yourself on these matters. This way you can clear up some of the possible confusion surrounding the subject with the following information regarding ID theft and tax returns:
Filing Early Doesn’t Prevent Identity Theft
Filing early may reduce the chances of a thief claiming your tax refund because you would have had already done so. But it’s important to understand that an identity thief attempting to take your tax refund already has your personal info at hand. So even if your tax return isn’t messed with, you’re still susceptible to -if not already- a victim of identity theft. Don’t think you’re off the hook just because you successfully filed your tax return early; you should still follow up with the company that lost your data or take a look at your public records for any unusual activity with Spyfly— the cutting-edge people search engine. Being cautious and alert when it comes to your personal information is crucial in order to ensure the protection of your identity.
It’s Not Always Identity-Theft-Related Tax Fraud
Given the high number of scams and security breaches in the recent years, it’s possible that your personal information has been compromised. But keep in mind that not every data breach results in identity theft, and not every identity theft is tax-related identity theft. The severity of the situation varies depending on what kind of personal information was stolen. Was it only a name? Or something more serious like a social security number? Rather than freaking out over your tax return, you may want to find out what type of personal information was stolen first. After you’ve gathered all the info, speak to the institution responsible for your stolen valuable information (if you’re lucky enough to know it). The company should be working with you on how to best safeguard your information -making you less vulnerable to Identity theft- or on reversing any harm caused.
Make Sure Your Tax Payer is Legit
As crazy as it may sound, there are crooks posing as tax preparers that are complete frauds. Over the years the trend has been growing, and many of these criminals end up causing a lot of damage. One of the biggest tricks they use is to promise a much higher tax return if you use their services. The methods they use to achieve bigger returns is are, of course, illegal because they falsify information that gets used to calculate returns. They also gain your personal information in order to file the taxes so you end up at risk of identity theft. Once they have your information they can use it for whatever purpose they would like. The best way to avoid choosing a fraudulent tax preparer is to know who they are before you deal with them. SpyFly can help you with that.
Always Guard Your Personal Information
Regardless of whether or not it is tax season, always keep your guard up when it comes to your personal information. When you fill out forms, make sure you know for sure who you are providing your information to. If you input your personal information on a website, always double-check the URL you are visiting by looking at the address bar in your browser. If something does not look right, do not provide your information until you are sure. Also, remember to make sure that the beginning of the web address is equipped with https:// instead of just http://. The “s” on the end informs you that the connection is secure. In most cases, you will see a tiny shape resembling a padlock next to the address when there is a secure connection. Watch out. Be wary. Always pay attention to who is around you and where your information is going because once somebody has it, you can’t get it back.
An IP PIN Isn’t Necessarily The Answer
An IP PIN, or Identity Protection Personal Identification Number, is a six-digit number assigned to eligible taxpayers to prevent the misuse of their Social Security Number on a fraudulent tax return.
To get an IP PIN, you must be an eligible taxpayer- which are people who received a letter from the IRS offering them this security service. But don’t think it’s all done out of the IRS’s love for you, this usually happens once you’ve been a victim of tax-related identity theft. As mentioned above, just because somebody had stolen your information does not guarantee it will only be used for stealing your tax return. There are literally millions of uses for stolen identities and tax returns are a small percentage.
To prevent your identity from being compromised, it’s always a good idea to keep an eye on your personal information. Make sure you have several safeguards in place in order to monitor your credit score, credit requests, and public records. Look for changes, irregularities, queries, and other suspicious events. Check yourself out with SpyFly, the safe haven for public records.
SpyFly was founded with the mission of making it safe and easy for people to find and learn the truth about each other online. By providing our members fast, easy and affordable access to public records, members can quickly make informed decisions about individuals they interact with. SpyFly provides searches for active warrants, driving records, arrest records, sexual predators and offenders, and several other public record information searches all in one place to keep you, your family, co-workers, and loved ones safe.