When we think of tax season, the first things that may come to mind are cash, refunds and checks, but what we should really be focusing on are the harsh realities that sometimes come with it: fraud, scams and identity theft.
As if tax season wasn’t complicated enough, we now have to worry about our personal information being hacked. With the recent data breaches that have taken place, criminals are finding it easier than ever to swipe our identities right out from under us. However, there are tips we can follow in order to keep our personal information safe this tax season. Here are three important ones:
1) File Early
Not only will you get your money back at a faster rate, you will also beat the criminals to the punch before they can take your personal information to use for themselves and commit tax fraud under your name. E-filing has proven to be both a convenient and safer method when filing and is encouraged.
2) Shred personal documents
Protect your personal information by shredding all documents that hold sensitive information on them once deemed unnecessary. Criminals will spare no expense on diving into the trash to retrieve your personal papers. This process can save you a lot of time and trouble in the long run.
3) Monitor your movement
It is always smart to have a backup plan and by signing up for something like LifeLock, a service that specializes in identity theft protection, you can have a whole team behind you providing piece of mind when it comes to the fear of not knowing if or when you may fall victim to a scam.
For more tips to follow check out the graphic below.