The holidays are over and tax season is upon us once again. This time of the year can be both stressful and gratifying, but if you play your cards right, it can be over long before tax deadlines roll around in April. However, every once in a while, filing your taxes can lead to the discovery that your identity has been stolen. Have you been wondering how identity thieves could have gotten their hands on your private information? Knowing these answers could help you keep your identity safe this tax season.
How to Protect My Data from Identity Thieves
Scammers use many methods to steal information that they can use to open fraudulent bank accounts, take out phony loans and steal your tax refund. But knowing these methods can help you protect yourself. Here are a few ways scammers get at your personal data:
- Hacking – Sometimes the systems of big companies are breached and that can lead to your data falling into the hands of scammers. Target, Home Depot, and most recently Equifax are all large companies that have had their systems hacked and data stolen. To protect from this threat, having fraud alerts activated at credit monitoring companies can protect your finances and keep you good name intact.
- Phone Scams – The number one way scammers steal people’s personal information is by simply asking your for it. They will pose as government agencies or reputable businesses and ask for your info in order to clear up a random problem. Don’t believe these callers. Government agencies and trustworthy businesses do not ask for private information over the phone–they will use more secure channels.
- Email Scams – Just like phone scams, email scams involve crooks posing as companies or government agencies to trick you into releasing your information to them. However, email scammers are a bit more skilled at this deception. To identify spoofed emails, look for misspellings and check the email address of the sender. If the address reads “[email protected]” instead of “[email protected]”, then the email is probably a spoof.
There are even more ways to identify cyber crooks and protect your personal data. Keep following the family law attorneys here at the Gates Law Group to find more ways to protect yourself and your family.