TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –Attorney General Pam Bondi urges Floridians to use caution when filing tax returns and to be aware of identity theft and tax-related scams.
“I encourage Floridians to educate themselves on identity theft and tax-related scams before filing their tax returns,” stated Attorney General Pam Bondi. “If anyone encounters possible theft or fraud, they should contact my office immediately by calling 1-866-9-NO-SCAM.”
Below are tips to avoid identity theft and tax fraud:
· File tax returns early. The IRS will reject a return if one is already filed with that social security number;
· Ask for credentials of the tax preparer, and ask if he or she belongs to a state board or bar association that requires continuing education;
· Do not provide your social security number unless it is required;
· Do not carry your social security card or write it on checks;
· Shred financial documents and papers before discarding them;
· Be wary of providing sensitive information via the Internet;
· Do not respond to e-mails asking for information relating to tax refunds. The IRS’ website is the legitimate source for checking on refund status; and
· Check credit report every 12 months.
Consumers should file complaints about tax-related scams and any other types of fraud by calling the Attorney General’s fraud hotline at 1-866-9-NO-SCAM (1-866-966-7226), or by filing a complaint online at MyFloridaLegal.com.