What to do if you are a victim of identity theft What to do if you are a victim of identity theft

What to do if you are a victim of identity theft

What must you do if you have been a victim?   

Identity theft occurs when an unauthorized party uses your personally identifying information, such as your name, address, Social Security Number (SSN), or credit card or bank account information to assume your identity in order to commit fraud or other criminal acts.

A stolen Social Security number, for example, can be used to file a fraudulent tax return or refund request. 

The best way to protect yourself against tax scams — especially potential identity theft — is to file your tax return as soon as possible, but if you already know this has happened, these are the steps to take.

One key action to recovering from identity theft is to act quickly. It is important to report the theft to the right agencies: the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Identify Theft Bureau should be the first agency you contact. https://www.identitytheft.gov/

When you access the website, you will be asked some questions about your situation, and that information will be used to create a recovery plan. Once you create the account, the plan will be put into action by updating your plan as needed, tracking your progress, and pre-filling forms and letters for you.

Be careful if you are contacted — by phone or email — by someone claiming to be from the IRS who says you owe money for the US Department of Justice has already clarified that the IRS never discusses personal tax issues through unsolicited emails or texts, or over social media. 

When the IRS needs to get in touch with a taxpayer, standard practice is to send a letter via the US Postal Service, so if you receive an unexpected and suspicious email from the IRS, forward it to phishing@irs.gov. for it may be a scam.


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