Edit ModuleShow Tags

4 ways to prevent identity theft

Your tax refund could be delayed by at least six months if a crook files a fake return in your name. Here’s how to keep that from happening.



 

Q How can I protect myself from identity theft?

 

A Identity theft is a growing problem in the United States. Criminals steal personal information to commit fraud and other crimes. According to the IRS, some thieves swipe a taxpayer’s Social Security number and use it to file a phony tax return and claim a fraudulent refund. Then, when the taxpayer files his legitimate return, the IRS rejects it. The taxpayer must work with the IRS to correct the situation, obtain his refund when applicable and repair his records. This requires a lot of time and effort. In the best-case scenario, the taxpayer must wait at least six months to get his refund.

There are several ways to reduce your risk of identify theft, including: 

1. File your tax returns early. Identity thieves generally file early in the season to ensure that the IRS will process their fraudulent returns and distribute the refunds before the legitimate taxpayer has the chance to file. The earlier you file in the season, the harder it will be for a crook to assume your identity and file first.

2. Keep hackers off your computer. Install firewalls and antivirus protection software to safeguard your private information. Be careful with your Social Security number and any passwords for the Internet, such as online banking, Amazon.com and other Web commerce sites. Never purchase any product from a website if the URL does not begin with https://. Never send an email with the word “password” in the subject line—hacker programs scan subject lines for specific words in order to swipe this kind of info. 

3. Protect your tax return online. Your tax preparer should send your tax return only through a secure, password-protected Internet portal that requires authentication by the taxpayer to be accessed.

4. Shred important documents. You don’t want to take the chance of someone poring through your trash for sensitive data like Social Security numbers, birth dates or credit card info. Also, check your credit reports regularly with Equifax, Experian and TransUnion if you’ve fallen victim to identity theft. 

 

Edit Module

Tell us what you think at or email.

Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Articles

What's Your Story? Skinny Bitch Pizza, Los Angeles, California

One entrepreneurial woman has found a niche with her delivery-only concept that serves cauliflower crust pizzas in photogenic pink boxes.

Fredi Bello: The Richest Man in the World

Fredi the Pizzaman may be one of the “little guys” of the pizza industry, but his integrity and passion make him a large presence in Michigan.

Do You Have the Fire Within to Go Mobile?

A Fire Within mobile wood-fired oven lets pizzeria owners take their signature taste out into the community.

The Chef’s Corner: Brittany Saxton, Six Hundred Downtown

This five-time world champion shares her recipe for the Mad Hatter.

What’s Your Story? Mert Sunnetcioglu, Mia Mia’s Pizzeria

How this ex-engineer quadrupled sales at his pint-sized pizza shop in just over three years.

How to Achieve a Better Par-Baked Pizza Crust

Use these 5 tips to finetune your par-bake dough formula.

Look Before You Lease: Choosing the Right Site for Your Pizzeria

Veteran operator Michael Androw details 7 key factors to consider when negotiating a lease for your next restaurant space.

Mixers to the Max: Getting the Most out of Your Dough Mixer

Experts help you choose the right model and features to keep your mixer in tip-top shape.

SpeedLine Solutions: How to Save Money on Credit Card Fees and Chargebacks:

Speedline’s Pay@ The Door lets pizzerias accept payment at the customer’s door upon delivery.

Marra Forni: Made in the USA vs. Imported Brick Ovens

Marra Forni founder Francesco Marra explains why buying domestic ovens is a better investment for pizzeria owners.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags