Will Equifax Breach Open Door to Tax Scammers?
The tax season is always ripe with challenges, not the least of which is dealing with another wave of tax scams. Scammers are constantly looking for newer and more deceptive ways to steal your hard-earned money, including your tax refund.
Although, the tax-filing season is still a few months away, there is already a new threat emerging, thanks to the massive data breach that affected nearly half of all taxpayers in the country. Hackers were able to find a breach in Equifax’s security and steal the private information of about 143 million U.S. adults.
What does that mean for taxes? Now that this information is available on the dark web, the chances of your tax refund being hijacked have greatly increased. So what’s the number one thing you can do about it?
Of course, you need to keep a vigilant eye on your credit score and accounts, but you also need to be prepared to file your tax return as early as possible. That’s because if you file your return before a scammer does, they can’t file it for you and steal your refund.
While the IRS and the FTC always recommend filing your taxes early, this coming tax season it will be even more important. According to the FTC, taxpayers should file “as soon as you have the tax information you need, before a scammer can.”
That means you should start preparing now so you’re ready when tax season begins.