Tax Refund Warning from Attorney General Maura Healey
Posted in advice, Crime, taxes - 0 Comments.
Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey. CC-BY-SA: Wikimedia, Edahlpr
According to what Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey said on Boston Public Radio, the fastest growing form of identity theft is stealing tax refunds. We're no experts, but it sounds like the scheme goes like this:
- The criminal finds something like a W-2 or 1099 and pretends to be you.
- The criminal fills out a 1040 with fake but believable numbers that predict a refund. The address they enter is not your address.
- If the return is accepted, the refund is transmitted to the criminal's lair or bank account.
The best ways to avoid tax-related identity theft are:
- File before the criminal. File as early as you can.
- Make sure when you're transmitting or receiving tax-related information you're looking at a website that starts with "https" (the "S" is critical) and there are no warnings from your browser.
- Shred any physical paper with your name, social security number, or income (like pay stubs).