Learn about tax ID theft at Pinellas event

Posted at 3:57 AM, Jan 25, 2016
and last updated 2019-10-07 13:15:23-04

Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week is Jan. 25 to 29. This week is dedicated to educating the public on how to protect themselves from tax-related crimes.

Tax identity theft occurs when an individual uses stolen personal information, such as a Social Security number, to file a fraudulent tax return and obtain a refund.

In recognition of this week, Pinellas County Consumer Protection will be at the Dunedin Library, located at 223 Douglas Ave. on Monday, Jan. 25, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. An investigator will be available to answer your questions about - tax identity theft and other consumer related topics.

Proactive steps to lessen the chance of becoming a victim include:

  • filing tax returns early in the tax season
  • using a secure internet connection to file electronically
  • mailing tax returns directly from the post office
  • shredding any extra copies of tax documents
  • responding to mail from the IRS as soon as possible
  • remembering that the IRS will not contact taxpayers by email, text or social media
  • only giving out Social Security numbers or Medicare numbers when absolutely necessary
  • free tax preparation help is available for qualifying taxpayers at “Tax Time, Need Help?”
  • checking credit reports at least once a year free of charge

Those who believe they are victims of tax identity theft should contact the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit at 800-908-4490. For more information about identity theft, contact Pinellas County Consumer Protection at (727) 464-6200.

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