Tax seasons is one time of the year when people tend to think a lot about identity theft and the security of their financial accounts. Unfortunately, the tax-filing season can bring out a slew of new financial scams that can change and evolve every year. While the Internal Revenue Service works hard to seek out these criminal ventures and warn taxpayers and accounting professionals about them, many scams are still successful to a certain degree.
Whether you file your own taxes through the mail, use an online option, or hire a professional to complete the task for you, your tax forms include a significant amount of your sensitive personal information all in one place. If criminals get ahold of this information, they may have all the data necessary to steal your identity and submit a fraudulent tax return in your name. Ria Money Transfer takes financial security very seriously and offers these tips to help you avoid tax scams.
Create a Complete Tax Return
The first step toward keeping yourself safe from tax-related scams is to create a complete return that includes all the necessary supporting documents. Whether you hire a professional accountant or file your return yourself, make sure you double-check all your official documents, such as W-2s and other income-related forms, for accuracy.
Make Sure You Understand Your Expected Return
Before you finalize and file your return, spend some time glancing over it to make sure you understand each part. If you clearly understand what your return says and what sort of refund you are expecting, you are less likely to fall for a scam.
One of the most common scams of the current tax season involves thieves depositing fake tax return refunds into victims’ accounts and then requesting transfers of the “erroneous” deposits. Even if you don’t fall for this transfer scheme, you should always use a secure and reliable service like Ria Money Transfer for financial transactions that involve moving money online between local or international parties.
Always Verify Using Official Channels
If you do receive an unexpected deposit into your bank account or a threatening phone call about an erroneous return, it’s essential to go directly to an official source to discuss the situation. Most scammers use aggressive language to make their victims fearful so they’re more likely to follow the steps of the scam. Instead, contact the IRS or the Federal Trade Commission to verify the veracity of the message and report identity theft, if necessary.
Always Maintain Strict Personal Financial Security Measures
Generally, scammers go after “soft targets” whose financial security measures are easy to breach. You can help protect yourself by making your personal and financial information harder to access for anyone without the proper authority. Example, if you use a transfer service to send money anywhere, make sure to choose a secure provider like Ria Money Transfer.
Take steps to protect your most valuable personal information, including these essential elements of your identity:
- Social Security Number
- Bank account numbers
- Full name, maiden name, and mother’s maiden name
- Credit card numbers
- Offer letters from financial institutions
Installing firewalls on your computers, using security measures on your mobile device, and taking extra precautions when using public Wi-Fi networks can all help keep your personal information safe from criminals.
Transfer Money Cautiously
Using secure means to complete financial transactions can make it harder for scammers to get ahold of your personal information during tax season and all year long. It’s wise to always make sure you are on secure websites when entering financial or credit card information.
It can be dangerous to initiate a money transfer to someone you don’t know. Ria Money Transfer uses a variety of cutting-edge techniques to ensure all transactions are as safe and secure as possible. If you want to send money, you can feel confident in a secure and quick transaction.