File Taxes Early to Avoid Tax Fraud and Identity Theft

Get Ahead of Tax Fraud and Identity Theft 

Filing your taxes can be a pain, but dealing with tax fraud and identity theft can be even worse. As we scramble to compile our W-2s and file our returns by the April deadline, we often forget that tax season is also considered open season for identity thieves. 

Many of last year’s large-scale data breaches (like Equifax and Alteryx) have already given identity thieves a leg-up in the tax fraud and identity theft game. These breach events exposed a multitude of personal and financial information that experts predict will be used to fraudulently file tax returns this year. 

Fraudsters also effectively cover their bases by using a variety of tax-related scams that play on a victim’s fears. Scammers hope they can convince you to hand over personal and financial information to be used in other crimes. 

What should you look for? What can you do? Find all the answers to your tax crime-related questions concerning your personal information, the scams targeting you and best tax-filing practices.     Continue reading

Our Digital World: 2018 Identity Security Resolutions

Identity Security: A Holistic Approach

As we move forward into the new year, we look back on 2017 to see how fraud and identity theft have impacted us, and what we can do to start 2018 on the right foot. Fraudsters have turned to email scams, spoofed websites, fake messages and malicious software to facilitate a number of identity crimes.

Today’s world of digital identity crime requires us to look at identity security in three parts: a focus on cybersecurity, financial awareness and identity protection to effectively secure your most valued asset – your identity. Let’s look at a few 2018 Identity Security Resolutions to see how we can improve our overall identity security in the coming new year. Continue reading

New Breach Sparks Concern Over Social Engineering

Social Engineering Expected to Increase 

A recent data breach affecting 123 million American households speaks to the expected increase in social engineering scams of those impacted by the breach. 

California-based data service company Alteryx recently experienced a data breach that exposed some PII elements (address, phone number, longitude/latitude coordinates). However, the data exposed is even more troubling because it was paired with extensive analytics on consumer behaviors, interests and financial/spending habits. The 36 GB file focused mostly on consumer behavioral segments – 248 to be exact – like “Book Buyer,” “Religious Contributor,” “Phone Activity Date” and “Interest in Gourmet Cooking.”    Continue reading