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Tax Identity Theft: 3 Steps to Recovery
Identity theft isn’t fun…
Especially, if it’s tax identity theft and someone steals your refund. Unfortunately, it happens way too often and often spikes around tax season.
Most of the time, taxpayers don’t know they’re a victim of identity theft until they try to file their taxes. Only then do they realize that a tax return has already been filed using their social security number or tax ID.
For most people, finding out that you’re a victim of tax identity theft is scary. Not to mention a serious headache. That’s why we put together a few quick tips to help you if you become a victim.
3 Steps That Will Help You Recover From Identity Theft
File a Complaint with the FTC
Before you do anything, the FTC recommends filing a complaint with them. You can either fill out a form online or call 1-877-438-4338. Make sure to include as many details as possible. Then, IdentityTheft.gov will create an Identity Theft recovery plan for you.
Place a Fraud Alert on your credit records
After you file a complaint, contact one of the three credit bureaus to place a fraud alert on your credit records. It doesn’t matter which credit bureau you contact because they have to tell the other two.
A fraud alert will make it harder for someone to open up new accounts or lines of credit in your name. Then, get your free credit report at annualcreditreport.com. Look through your report for any transactions that you don’t recognize or any accounts you didn’t open.
File a police report
Last, you need to take a trip down to your local police department. Tell them someone stole your identity and you need to file a report. Make sure to bring any proof of the identity theft with you. Before you leave the police department get a copy of the report.
March 17, 2016