There have been numerous stories in the press regarding tax fraud resulting from identity theft, including some cases affecting Duke employees. Below are some recommendations for protecting your tax records with the IRS.
To proactively protect yourself:
Going forward, we’d highly recommend that you consider the following:
- Register with the IRS to have them provide you a PIN each year for your filing (http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Get-An-Identity-Protection-PIN).
- Sign up for an account at irs.gov before the bad guys do (http://krebsonsecurity.com/2015/03/sign-up-at-irs-gov-before-crooks-do-i...).
- Consider putting a permanent freeze on your credit at the credit reporting agencies, or using a credit protection service. If you do this, you will have to temporarily lift the freeze if you are applying for a loan or other credit. Details can be found on these sites:
Experian - https://www.equifax.com/personal/credit-report-services/credit-freeze/
Transunion - https://www.transunion.com/credit-freeze
Equifax - https://www.equifax.com/personal/credit-report-services/credit-freeze
If you find that you have been the victim of identity theft through tax fraud, take these steps immediately:
Call your local law enforcement and file an identity theft report. This will be needed in case the perpetrators are found and a case can be made against them. You will also want the police report when dealing with the credit reporting agencies to clear up any accounts that may have been opened using your information.
Second, review the IRS recommendations for next steps. You will see instructions to:
- Contact the FTC and file an identity theft report.
- Contact the 3 credit reporting agencies and get a fraud alert placed on your credit.
- Fill out an identity theft affidavit with the IRS.
When you contact the IRS, they should also be able to help you with the steps you will need to follow to clear up this year’s filing.
Finally, please let us know by contacting your HR representative and/or emailing email@example.com. These reports help us to identify whether or not the source of the identity theft came from a system at Duke.