In 2012, approximately 16.6 million individuals (or 7% of the population) over the age or 16 were victims of identity theft in the United States according to a report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The increasing number of security breaches occurring just in the past few months has made it imperative that consumers take precautions to safeguard their private information and to know where to turn and steps to take if they become victims themselves. The Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Information website has an Identity Theft guide which provides useful and detailed information for victims and tips for those who would like to safeguard their identity. Specific sections (e.g. initial steps to take if you are a victim; what to do later in the process; how to safeguard your identity and different types of identity theft) are presented in an easy to understand format with helpful checklists to simplify the process.
Archive for April, 2014
Con artists pretending to be IRS agents call unsuspecting taxpayers and tell them they owe money and must pay using a prepaid debit card or wire transfer. Those refusing to pay are threatened with arrest, deportation (many of the targeted victims were immigrants) or loss of a business or driver’s license. Estimates that at least 20,000 of these calls were made and victims have given over $1 million to the scammers, making this the largest tax scam ever. The real IRS first makes contact by mail, not phone, about taxes due and they never ask for payment via a prepaid debit card or wire transfer. For more info: Tax phone scam ‘largest ever’