Cyber Security

What you need to know about tax identity theft this tax season!

Posted by on Mar 13, 2018

What you need to know about tax identity theft this tax season!     Tax identity theft has been a massive threat for years. Recently, however, the IRS has made progress on catching fraudulent tax returns before money is paid out. Last year, the IRS stopped $4 billion in fraudulent tax returns. This year, it may be a different story. Experts worry that this tax season could bring more fraud than we’ve seen in recent years. The reason? The Equifax breach exposed 143 million consumer’s Social Security numbers and other personal data. That other personal data was just discovered by Congress to...

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Beware! Thieves!

Posted by on Feb 14, 2018

IRS is open for business. However, refunds can be held up for closer scrutiny – especially if you are claiming refundable child tax credit or earned income credit. Measures to help detect tax identity theft and refund fraud could result in delays. Emerging Threats New tax bill may increase tax fraud this year. Experts warn that the combination of new laws, IRS budget cuts, and data breaches gives way for hackers to commit tax identity theft. For example, the Equifax breach in 2017 exposed the Social Security numbers of 143 million people, which can be used to file fraudulent tax returns. The...

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Equifax Hack Update

Posted by on Sep 26, 2017

  200,000 credit cards were stolen in the Equifax hack; complete with card numbers and expiration dates. Monitor your credit cards statements closely. Investigate any charges that look unfamiliar no matter how small. Often cards are tested with small purchases. The 3 times my credit card has been accessed, the credit card company caught 2, as they were large and unusual purchases for me i.e. $800 of janitorial supplies in Florida. The third time was a small charge that slipped past the credit card company. I called the company phone number listed on the statement to confirm I had not done...

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Protect Yourself From Identity Theft

Posted by on Sep 12, 2017

A data breach at the credit agency Equifax may leave you exposed! The hack revealed critical personal information that may be used by identity thieves. This is one of the most consequential data breaches in history – nearly ALL of the U.S. adults have credit histories on file with Equifax. This could impact you! You can see if you were a victim of Equifax’s hack by visiting equifaxsecurity2017.com/potential-impact/ enter your last name and last 6 digits of your social security number. You can also wait to receive a letter from Equifax. Credit Monitoring services only alert you to when there...

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Identity Theft – Part 3

Posted by on Mar 14, 2017

Once a friend asked me to compile a genealogy of her family. When I presented her with a tree full of birthdays, anniversaries and photographs, she demanded to know where I had obtained all that information. She was stunned when I told her I found most of the information through public access on Facebook. Now imagine using your daughter’s name, your mother’s maiden name, your anniversary date, or your birthday as your password for your e-mail or credit card. With the current ease of access to data on social media, the risk of identity theft is greater than ever. Simple Tips to Protect Your...

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Identity Theft – Part 2

Posted by on Feb 28, 2017

Your credit rating is valuable and important for you to monitor. You are entitled to a free copy from each of the three reporting agencies. You may contact them at www.annualcreditreport.com. Stagger the reports over the year, periodically getting an update. You are in the best position to know if the information reported is correct. Look at the work history and places you have lived. Do the loan and credit card balances seem correct? Be sure there isn’t any account listed that you don’t know about. If you find errors, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recommends you contact the...

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