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The original item was published from 1/26/2018 10:51:00 AM to 2/2/2018 5:05:00 PM.

News Flash

Town of Indian Shores

Posted on: January 27, 2018

[ARCHIVED] Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week

Pinellas County Consumer Protection and the Federal Trade Commission remind residents to be vigilant in protecting their personal information.

To help ensure public safety and welfare, Consumer Protection has scheduled several events from January 29 - February 2 in recognition of Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week.

The week is dedicated to educating the public about 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.

You can see a list of these events at http://www.pinellascounty.org/consumer/pdf/tax_identity_theft_week_flyer.pdf

A Consumer Protection investigator will be available to answer questions and provide free resources on identity theft and repair.

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.
  • Checking credit reports at least once a year free of charge at www.annualcreditreport.com.

The Federal Trade Commission is holding a number of events in recognition of the week as well, including webinars and Twitter chats. For more information, visit https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/features/feature-0029-tax-identity-theft-awareness-week.

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 or visit www.pinellascounty.org/consumer.

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