Tag Archives: credit ratings

Protect Yourself from Identity Theft and Fraud

Imagine this – you’ve given us all your documents early, we’ve prepped and processed your tax return, you’ve reviewed it and signed the eFile forms… then we call you and advise you that your tax return rejected eFiling because someone has already filed using your social security number! Sadly, this can happen if you become one of the growing number of victims of tax return identity theft. At least one estimate shows tax-related identity theft cases have increased 650% since 2008. Identity theft can delay your tax refund, but other consequences could be credit card debt or loans taken out in your name.

To avoid becoming a victim, we recommend the following:

  • Safeguard your social security number and other financial information. Don’t send financial documents via email unless you use an encryption program. To send documents to us, use our LeapFile application to securely send us documentation.
  • Check your bank and credit card transactions regularly and monitor your credit ratings.
  • Don’t give out your information on the phone, even if the caller identifies themselves as an agent of the IRS or other authorities.

Don’t Forget to Get an Annual Checkup – On Your Credit

Identity theft and fraud are at an all-time high – you know it and we’ve told you about it.  We recommend that you check your credit reports at least once a year. Credit reports often have errors in them and this quick checkup can be the first indication that some form of identity theft or fraud has taken place on your account. Review the information to ensure its accuracy.

The three major credit card reporting agencies – Experian, Equifax and TransUnion – are required by law to provide you with a free report once a year.  A website has been set up specifically for this purpose:

Website: www.AnnualCreditReport.com

Telephone: 1-877-322-8228

Via Mail: Fill out the online form and mail it to:

Annual Credit Report Request Service
PO Box 105281
Atlanta, GA 30348-5281