Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Identity Theft Resource Center finds Cases of Identity Theft Increase During Tax Season

Expert Resource Provides Tips to Help Prevent Crime

"The Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) has seen a dramatic increase in IRS-related identity theft cases during key tax filing months as compared to previous years. Specifically, the ITRC received almost 77 percent more cases in 2012 than in 2010 and during the three years incidences of identity theft were highest during the key tax filing months of February and March.

 “A lot of information changes hands during tax season, which is why we believe we see so many IRS-related identity theft cases this time of year,” said Eva Valasquez, President and CEO of the ITRC. “And although more and more people are now e-filing, we still need to be cautious of how we are protecting information offline.” 

The Identity Theft Resource Center recommends taking steps to safeguard your entire tax filing process to ensure you’re protected from the crime. From installing a firewall on your computer, to storing important files in a fireproof lockbox and shredding no-longer-needed documents, it’s important to stop identity thieves in their tracks along the way. 

“Shredding is one of the most effective ways to destroy personal information,” said Nancy Heaton, Director of Global Marketing, Business Machines, Fellowes, Inc. Fellowes is a corporate sponsor or ITRC and works closely with the organization to provide education about identity theft crimes. “A Cross-Cut shredder, like Fellowes’ 73Ci ensures your tax-related documents can’t be pieced back together.” 

Below are the Identity Theft Resource Center’s identity theft prevention tips for tax season:

Tax Time Tips

  • Install a firewall on your computer and change passwords frequently using a combination of letters, numbers and symbols.
  •  Select tax preparation software carefully if you intend to do your own tax return
  • File at the earliest time possible allowed by the IRS
  •  Send completed tax returns via a U.S. Postal Office. Mailing from home exposes your tax returns to potential risk
  • Do not send sensitive documents/information over unprotected e-mail
  •  Never file your electronic tax return using an unsecured public WiFi connection.  A secure site will have its address begin with https:// rather than http://
  •  Throughout the year, store sensitive tax season documents in a fireproof, locked cabinet
  •    Shred no-longer-needed tax documents with a Cross-Cut shredder."

S     Stay tuned, as I will be reviewing the Fellowes 63Cb Shredder in a couple of weeks.  Having had my identity stolen in the past, I always make a point to shred receipts and unnecessary personal documents once my tax returns are filed.  And, this year, I will be using the Fellowes 63C Shredder.  Here is more about the shredder, in case you are looking for one right now:

Fellowes 63Cb Shredder

Shredding paper documents containing personal information continues to be one of the best and most effective ways to prevent identity theft - during tax season and year round. A Cross-Cut shredder, such as the Fellowes 63Cb, can destroy paper into hundreds of small, unidentifiable pieces.

·         The 63Cb shredder is the perfect machine for the home. The machine features many of Fellowes’ exclusive technologies at an affordable price:
o   Fellowes’ Jam BlockerTM technology blocks jams before they start
o   SafeSense® technology automatically stops shredding when hands touch the paper opening
o   Energy Savings System maximizes shredder energy savings 100% of the time – both in use and out of use
o   Heavy-duty Cross-Cut blades destroy a single sheet of paper into 302 particles, making it nearly impossible to piece back together
o   The 63Cb is available at www.Amazon.com, www.OfficeDepot.com and www.OfficeMax.com for a suggested retail price of $149.99


About the Identity Theft Resource Center
Identity Theft Resource Center® (ITRC) is a nonprofit, nationally respected organization dedicated exclusively to the understanding of identity theft and related issues. The ITRC provides victim and consumer support as well as public education. The ITRC also advises governmental agencies, legislators, law enforcement, and businesses about the evolving and growing problem of identity theft. 

About Fellowes, Inc.
Fellowes, Inc. is dedicated to providing identity theft education to consumers and businesses and is a corporate sponsor of the Identity Theft Resource Center.  Fellowes, Inc. offers an extensive range of products to equip the workspace, including paper shredders, binders, laminators, desktop accessories and record storage solutions. Founded in 1917 by Harry Fellowes and headquartered in Itasca, Illinois, Fellowes, Inc. employs more than 1,200 people throughout the world and has operations in 15 countries. Fellowes products are now readily available in over 100 countries across the globe. For more information, visit www.fellowes.com.

Disclosure: I was sent a sample for review from the vendor in order to write up an honest review.  The views I share are mine and mine alone.

No comments :

Post a Comment