Reminders to Avoid Identity Theft

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Avoid Identity Theft

Important Reminders to avoid Identity Theft Risk

Tax-related identity theft scams continue to grow with a regular bombardment of scams and schemes that seek to gain access to sensitive information. These schemes continue to evolve and ensnare victims. We want to share information from the IRS to help you avoid identity theft. Anthony J. Madonia & Associates is dedicated to all aspects of taxation and tax preparation.

What can you do to avoid identity theft?

  • Be cautious of email attachments and web links. Do not open a link or attachment that arrives unexpectedly. Many scammers can imitate legitimate businesses, taxpayer clients and government agencies, including the IRS.
  • Do not send sensitive business information to personal email devices.
  • Do not share USB drives or external hard drives between personal and business computers or devices.
  • Be careful with downloads. Do not download software from an unknown web page. Always exercise caution with freeware or shareware.
  • Use strong passwords. Never give out usernames or passwords to others. Strong passwords consist of a random sequence of upper and lower-case letters that include numbers and special characters.
  • Change default passwords. Many devices come with default administrative passwords. Change them immediately and regularly thereafter. Default passwords are easily found or known by hackers.
  • Change passwords often. Every three months is recommended.
  • Use caution with online business/commerce and banking. This should only be done while using a secure browser connection and never at a coffee shop, restaurant or other business offering ‘free’ Wi-Fi.

If you are the victim of data theft, report it to your local IRS Stakeholder Liaison. Speed is critical. IRS Stakeholder Liaisons will ensure all the appropriate IRS offices are alerted. If reported quickly, the IRS can take steps to block fraudulent returns in the clients’ names and will assist tax pros through the process.

The IRS’ Identity Theft Central pages for tax pros, individuals and businesses have important details as well.