(photo courtesy of Stuart Miles and freedigitalphotos.net)
We are receiving several tips and notices that area residents have had their name and social security number used in already filing their Income Taxes both with the IRS and State of Missouri. Some of this has even happened to local public safety employee(s).
This is a problem nationwide and many of the victims do not learn this until they file their taxes. There are several ways these criminals may have obtained your name and personal identifiers, such as computer hackers getting into servers of large companies, hacking your own computer, other tricks and scams used to obtain personal identity, and more.
Some things which may help you to prevent this or minimize a problem this year include calling your tax preparer now and not waiting until the last few days to file, utilize an identity theft service provider, do business with only those you know and trust, shred your personal and credit information before throwing these items away, check your credit at least once a year and read various other tips on www.irs.gov