Your personal information is out there, and identity thieves are buying it and selling it. Worse yet, criminals have a variety of methods to steal your private data. That being said, the IRS wants you to understand how they operate so you can avoid becoming the victim of a scam artist.
10 Things You Should Know
- Identity thieves obtain your personal information through many different means, including stealing a wallet or purse or accessing information you provide to an unsecured internet site. They even look for personal information in your trash. Some identity thieves pose as someone needing information through a phone call or an e-mail.
- The IRS NEVER initiates contact with a taxpayer by e-mail, and rarely by phone. Click here to read AGH's alert: Common scamming attempts - including contacts from the "IRS".
- If you receive an IRS related e-mail scam, forward it to the IRS at email@example.com.
- If you receive a letter from the IRS leading you to believe your identity has been stolen, respond immediately to the name, address or phone number on the IRS notice.
- Your identity may be stolen if a letter from the IRS indicates more than one tax return was filed for you or the letter states you received wages from an employer you don't know.
- If your Social Security number is stolen, it may be used by another individual to get a job. That person's employer would report income earned to the IRS using your Social Security number, making it appear that you did not report all of your income on your tax return.
- If you think you are at risk to identity theft due to a lost wallet, questionable credit card activity, or credit report, provide the IRS with proof of your identity. You should submit a copy of your valid government-issued identification — such as a Social Security card, driver's license, or passport — along with a copy of a police report and/or a completed Form 14039, IRS Identity Theft Affidavit.
- Do not routinely carry your Social Security card or other documents that display your Social Security number. Only show your Social Security card to your employer when you start a job or to your financial institution for tax reporting purposes.
- If you have previously been in contact with the IRS regarding an identity theft issue and have not achieved a resolution, please contact the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit, toll-free at 800.908.4490.
- For more information about identity theft, including information about how to report identity theft, phishing and related fraudulent activity, click here to visit the IRS Identity Theft Resource Page.
For more information about identity theft, contact Cindy McSwain using her information below.
Senior Vice President
Cindy McSwain leads AGH’s outsourcing services group. Her team provides payroll, accounting, funds disbursement, controller, and other financial outsourcing services to numerous clients throughout the U.S. Prior to directing the outsourcing group, Cindy served AGH’s audit clients for 10 years, working with a wide range of middle-market, closely held and family-owned clients.
Her current clients cross many industry sectors, including manufacturing, distribution, restaurants, retailers, medical, and not-for-profit. She has participated in numerous SEC filings and public registrations and has experience in mergers and acquisitions. Cindy is a certified public accountant and a member of both the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Kansas Society of Certified Public Accountants.
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