You could drop your social security card while guzzling a Hurricane down crowded Bourbon Street. Your daughter could buy those cool light up shoes from the sketchy website on Instagram. Your old AOL email account could be hacked. Identity theft seems to always be one wrong step or click away. Luckily The Tax Warriors® at Drucker & Scaccetti have created the “Flash Five Fixes to Identity Theft.”
Plenty of advice exists on how to reduce the chance of identity theft. But, let’s face it, as hard as we try it seems the scammers are always a step ahead. Even when we’ve done all we can to prevent it, identity theft is still a real possibility. In the unfortunate circumstance of identity theft, use this list of actions to immediately begin the process of reclaiming your identity.
- Freeze! – Contact credit card companies and financial institutions immediately and place a hold on activity or cancel the accounts. Additionally, you can contact the three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) to freeze your credit, so no one can open accounts in your name.
- FTC – File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at identitytheft.gov.
- Fraud Alerts – Contact one of the major credit bureaus to place a fraud alert on your credit records.
- Form 14039 – Paper file your most current tax return and include Form 14039, Identity Theft Affidavit.
- Follow-up – Monitor credit report activity for suspicious activity or new accounts; respond immediately to any IRS correspondence. Contact the IRS specialized unit at 1-800-908-4490 if additional assistance is needed.
The “Flash Five Fixes” are just the first line of defense to combat identity theft. Often months can go by without complete resolution. However, the faster you act the better off you’ll be. If you have questions or concerns regarding a suspected or known fraud, contact us. We are always prepared to help with this or another tax-related matter.