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Keep Track of Your Personal Information

  • By Lauri Paxton
  • 20 Sep, 2016
If you are like most other Americans, the beginning of the year often means a new start or a chance to start fresh.  With the first of the year it also becomes time to prepare for tax season.  As breaches have occurred at an increasing rate over the last few years there could never be a better time to protect your personal information.
If you, like most American’s, filed you taxes last year you are at risk.  Thieves are becoming more creative than ever in order to get your information and money. Take the steps now to help protect yourself against fraud.
Last year the IRS admitted to a large breach into the taxpayer records.  This breach, was not a hacking breach like many are.  The thieves would log into the IRS site using valid names, addresses, social security numbers and more.  The IRS believes that the thieves will use this stolen information to file for fake tax returns.
Now you may be asking how you can protect yourself from fraud and identity theft. There are several things that you can do to help prevent yourself from falling victim.

Three Ways to Avoid Identity Theft:

  • Free annual credit reports.Each of the major consumer credit reporting agencies is required by law to provide you with a free report once a year.  This report can help individuals to see if there are any marks on your record that may not have been caused by you, and allow you the chance to get it cleaned up.
  • Use a credit monitoring system.There are many companies out there with memberships which can monitor your credit and alert you to any changes that could indicate that your identity has been stolen.  Many of these companies’ monthly subscription is a relatively low cost and are very easy to use.
  • Be careful what information you give out.Remember that nobody should be calling you asking for personal information.  Banks or agencies will always have what information they need and will just need to verify your personal identification.  Do not provide anyone with personal information that you didn’t contact or know exactly who it is.
Take the time to protect yourself.  Once you have had your personal information stolen it is too late and can be extremely difficult to get everything straightened out.
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