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Don’t let identity thieves steal your income tax refund

It’s Not Too Late to Protect Your Personal Information

The number of people affected by data breaches has reached unprecedented levels. Now, with the April 15th tax deadline approaching, identity thieves want to cash in the personal information that has been stolen and exposed on the internet.

Millions of personal records compromised

Data breaches at Equifax, Yahoo and other large organizations have compromised the personal data of tens of millions of Americans. Identity thieves also target consumers and Main Street businesses directly to steal personally identifying information.

The threat will last for years

With access to Social Security numbers, names, addresses, dates of birth and other private information, data thieves may have all the information they need to file a phony tax return and pocket a refund. Once the data is on the Internet, the threat will last for years.

Billions of dollars claimed with phony returns

This type of tax scam, known as stolen identity refund fraud, is a serious problem with millions of phony tax returns filed, claiming billions of dollars.

Consumers and Businesses are exposed

Both consumers and businesses are vulnerable since individuals store tax information on their computers and businesses keep W-2 forms and other records on employees, vendors and contractors.

What to do if you are a victim

If your Social Security Number is compromised, or you suspect you are a victim of stolen identity refund fraud, continue to pay your taxes and file your tax return. The IRS has published the Taxpayer Guide to Identity Theft to provide more information and advice.

Businesses are also a target

Identity thieves also target businesses with schemes aimed at tricking payroll and human services professionals into releasing W-2 forms and other personal information of employees.

Tips to protect personal data

Businesses must be vigilant throughout the year to protect employees’ information. Click here for steps that HSB’s cyber specialists recommend to businesses to protect private data.

Cyber insurance helps pay for a loss

HSB offers cyber insurance for businesses, including HSB Total Cyber™, with a range of coverages for identity theft, data breach and cyber attacks. HSB Identity Recovery for Employees helps employers provide identity theft insurance and services for their workers.

 

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Don’t let identity thieves steal your income tax refund