West Virginia Record

Thursday, February 27, 2020

WEST VIRGINIA ATTORNEY GENERAL: Attorney General Morrisey Reminds Consumers to Protect Information When Filing Taxes

By Press release submission | Feb 11, 2020

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West Virginia Attorney General issued the following announcement on Feb. 6.

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey reminds taxpayers to exercise great caution this tax season by protecting their personal, identifiable information when preparing and filing their tax returns.

Sensitive information such as Social Security numbers, finances, birthdays and addresses are some of the many things scammers could easily use to their advantage.

“Scammers will take any chance they get to snatch your sensitive, personal, identifiable information,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “It’s always important to guard your data, but especially important at this time of year as scammers know tax season affects everyone. Taxpayers should also remember that studies show those more likely to steal your information aren’t strangers, but people you know.”

Consumers can greatly reduce the risk of fraud by filing their return well before the deadline. This gives thieves less time to file a false return since IRS records would show a return in the consumer’s name has already been filed. They also should use a secure Internet connection and never file their return via publicly available Wi-Fi.

Additional tips include:

Never carry a Social Security card, banking information or any other personally identifiable information in a wallet. Keep such documents in a secure location.

Cross shred documents. Identity thieves rummage through trash to find information.

Be wary of suspicious emails that may look legitimate, but are really a means to steal personal information. Look for typos, misspellings and bad grammar.

Know the Internal Revenue Service does not contact taxpayers via text message, email or social media.

A victim may learn of tax-related identify theft when he or she receives a letter from the IRS reporting it has received a return the consumer did not file, or reporting multiple returns filed under the victim’s name, or reporting that the victim received wages from an employer he or she doesn’t know.

Original source can be found here.

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