Identity theft is a serious crime. When a thief obtains your personal information such as your mother's maiden name, your date of birth, or your account number, they can open fraudulent credit cards, charge existing credit cards, write share drafts, open share accounts, or obtain new loans – but did you know they can also use your Social Security number to receive a tax refund or a job? It is called Tax Identity Theft and tax season is the most common time for this type of fraudulence to happen.
To educate members about this type of theft, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has announced that January 25 through January 29 is Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week for 2016. The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) has updated its tax identity theft resources page on the MyCreditUnion.gov consumer website to provide information to help credit union members understand and prevent identity theft, to protect themselves from other frauds and scams, and the steps used to report all fraudulent activity.
The Federal Trade Commission is also hosting a series of educational events online to correspond with Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week:
January 26 at 2:00 p.m. (EST) – the FTC and AARP’s Fraud Watch Network and Tax Aide Program will co-host a webinar for consumers addressing how tax identity theft happens and what people should do if they become a victim.
January 27 at 11:00 a.m. (EST) – Twitter Chat with Information for Veterans about Tax IDT hosted by FTC and Department of Veterans Affairs
January 28 at 1:00 p.m. (EST) – Assisting Victims of Tax Identity Theft, a webinar hosted by FTC and IRS
January 29 at 2:00 p.m. (EST) – FTC and ITRC Twitter Chat #IDTheftChat
For more information on protecting yourself and others against identity theft, visit ftc.gov/idtheft.