Stay Safe from Identity Theft

Published: January 26, 2022

Tax season is here, and it is a prime time for “bad actors” to attempt to compromise your personal information. This week is Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week, and it serves as a reminder to be vigilant in protecting yourself as you and your tax advisors share documents in preparation for your tax filings. Cybersecurity is a topic Klingenstein Fields Advisors (KF Advisors) takes very seriously. In 2021, we conducted two cybersecurity webinars. Additional guidance was provided in our follow up pieces, Your Cybersecurity Questions AnsweredMore Cybersecurity Questions Answered, and Preventing Fraud, Steps to Safeguard Your Assets. We encourage you to review these communications and take time this week to consider some tips to help you get through the season safely:

 

  • Many tax preparers offer a secure portal for clients to upload documents. Use this or other methods of encryption rather than sending unprotected documents by e-mail.
  •  Keep your Social Security number as secure as possible.
  • Check your credit score and credit report regularly to ensure that no one is using your information to open fraudulent accounts.
  • File your taxes as early as possible to thwart attempts by thieves to file a fraudulent return on your behalf.
  • Shred or destroy documents before you throw them away in the trash.
  • Use a secure internet connection when electronically filing your taxes or making payments to the IRS or state tax commissioner.
  • Send your tax returns or payments using USPS registered or certified mail, both considered by the IRS as acceptable verification of a timely mailing.
  • Remember that the IRS will never email, text, or call you to tell you there is a problem or to ask for personal information. If you receive such a call, hang up and notify the IRS using the appropriate contact number from the official website.
  • Contact the IRS ID Theft Protection Specialized Unit at 800-908-4490 if you believe your Social Security number or identity has been stolen. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) also provides useful information and guidance regarding protecting against identity theft. At the FTC’s IdentityTheft.gov site, you can report identity theft and get helpful hints on how to develop a recovery plan.

 

Important Disclosures

This material is provided for informational or educational purposes only and should not be construed as investment, accounting, tax or legal advice. Always consult a financial, tax and/or legal professional regarding your specific situation. This communication is not intended as a recommendation or as investment advice of any kind. It is not provided in a fiduciary capacity and may not be relied upon for or in connection with the making of investment decisions. Nothing herein constitutes or should be construed as an offering of advisory services or an offer to sell or a solicitation to buy any securities or a recommendation to invest in any specific investment strategy. Investing involves risk, including the possible loss of principal. Past performance is not indicative of future returns. The views expressed herein are as of a particular point in time and are subject to change without notice. The information and opinions presented herein are general in nature and have been obtained from, or are based on, sources believed by Klingenstein Fields Advisors (“KF Advisors’) to be reliable, but KF Advisors makes no representation as to their accuracy or completeness. Although the information provided is carefully reviewed, KF Advisors cannot be held responsible for any direct or incidental loss resulting from applying any of the information provided. KF Advisors represents two investment advisers registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission: Klingenstein, Fields & Co., L.P. and KF Group, LP. If you are a KF Advisors client, please remember that it remains your responsibility to advise KF Advisors, in writing, if there are any changes in your personal/financial situation or investment objectives for the purpose of reviewing/evaluating/revising our previous recommendations and/or services, or if you would like to impose, add, or to modify any reasonable restrictions to our investment advisory services.