The FTC reminded consumers to protect against identity theft during tax filing season, and provided a laundry list of precautions to insure that tax information does not fall into the wrong hands including:

  • Make sure that anyone helping you prepare your taxes is trustworthy.
  • File taxes early in the tax season to reduce the window of time in which a thief could fraudulently file under your Social Security number.
  • If filing electronically, only submit forms through a secure Internet connection.
  • If filing by mail, go to the post office directly to mail the envelope.
  • Do not respond to email messages asking for your personal information that purport to be from the IRS. If the IRS needs to contact you, it will do so by mail.

More Tax Related Identity Theft advice is available at OnGuardOnline.gov which is a website managed by the FTC, and many other agencies including: IRS, SEC, Homeland Security, FCC, FDIC, and Departments of Commerce, Education, State, and Justice.

To learn more about what the FTC is doing to protect the public I welcome you to read my eCommerce Times February 2013 column entitled “Of Apps and Antitrust: FTC Monitoring Kicks Into High Gear.”