This is the season for identity thieves to run rampant. It is important to protect your identity, as well as your employees’ identities, throughout the year, but the threat increases this time of year as the April 18 tax deadline approaches (the traditional April 15 falls on a Saturday and Emancipation Day is observed in Washington, D.C. on Monday, according to IRS.gov). Following are a few steps you can take in order to keep this information private:
- Never send an e-mail that contains full Social Security numbers. If it is necessary to send this information, password protect the sheet you are sending.
- Always verify who is requesting the information and who you are sending information to.
- Never give out information to a person that contacts you via email or phone. If they are authentic, they will already have that information on hand.
The IRS warns of multiple phishing scams that they are currently aware of at these links:
- Multiple scams including phone, email, malware, false representation and soliciting W-2 information: https://www.irs.gov/uac/tax-scams-consumer-alerts
- Tax preparer scams to “unlock” tax software accounts: https://www.irs.gov/uac/newsroom/security-summit-alert-tax-professionals-warned-of-new-scam-to-unlock-their-tax-software-accounts
- W-2 phishing scams: https://www.irs.gov/uac/dangerous-w-2-phishing-scam-evolving-targeting-schools-restaurants-hospitals-tribal-groups-and-others
If you have any questions about how best to protect yourself or your employees or if you are contacted by someone that doesn’t feel right to you, please contact BCN Services and let us help you through this process.
Amber Heckaman, Sr. Staff Accountant