How secure are your tax returns? 

    Right now, millions of Americans are filing their taxes—and many of them are vulnerable to tax identity theft. This kind of fraud occurs when scammers file a fake tax return using your social security number. And to add insult to injury, they claim your refund! 

    Fortunately, tax ID theft is highly preventable. Just make sure you take these precautions:

    File as early as possible

    If you haven’t filed yet, there’s no time like the present! The sooner you submit your information to the IRS, the harder it is for fraudsters to impersonate you. Make sure you collect the refund you deserve.

    File over a secure Internet connection

    Free public Wi-Fi can be a great way to save data, but it also poses a security threat because it’s open to everyone. Never use it when transmitting personal info such as your social security number or bank account information. In other words, if you’re e-filing, make sure you do it over a secure, closed network.

    Beware fake IRS correspondence

    The Federal Trade Commission recently reported a spike in IRS imposters last year. These people harassed filers on the phone, claiming they could be arrested unless they paid taxes they supposedly owed.

    The IRS’s first contact with you will ALWAYS be by mail. Ignore any angry calls, texts or emails you get purporting to be from the government demanding payments.

    Finally, if you think you might be a victim of identity theft, you can check your credit report for free, and look for suspicious activity. 


    Since contact information can periodically change, confirm addresses before sending a letter containing personal information.

    Credit Reporting Bureaus/Credit Reports

    To order a credit report: (800) 685-1111
    To report fraud: (800) 525.6285
    PO Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374
    (888) 397-3742
    PO Box 2104, Allen, TX 75013
    To order credit report: (800) 888-4213
    To report fraud: (800) 680-7289
    PO Box 2000, Chester, PA 19022
    Annual Credit Report Request Service
    (877) 322-8228
    PO Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348


    Government Agencies

    National Association of Attorneys General
    Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
    (855) 411-2372
    PO Box 4503, Iowa City, Iowa 52244
    U.S. Postal Inspection Service
    (877) 876-2455
    Criminal Investigations Service Center 
    Attn: Mail Fraud
    222 S Riverside Plaza Ste 1250, Chicago, IL 60606


    Banking Regulators

    Office of the Comptroller of the Currency 
    (national banks)
    (800) 613-6743
    1301 McKinney Street Ste 3450, Houston, TX 77010
    Federal Reserve Board 
    (state-charted banks)
    (888) 851-1920
    PO Box 1200, Minneapolis, MN 55480
    Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation 
    (other banks)
    (703) 812-1020
    2345 Grand Boulevard Ste 100, Kansas City, MO 64108
    National Credit Union Administration
    (800) 755-1030
    1775 Duke Street, Alexandria, VA 22314-3428


    Checking Account Verification/Monitoring Services

    (800) 428-9623
    7805 Hudson Rd Ste 100, Woodbury, MN 55125
    (800) 710-9898
    PO Box 4451, Houston, TX 77210



    Better Business Bureau
    Pre-approved Credit Offers
    To opt out of receiving pre-approved credit offers
    (888) 567-8688
    Wasatch Peaks

    Written by Wasatch Peaks