Avon cops: Avoid tax-time ID theft | VailDaily.com

Avon cops: Avoid tax-time ID theft

Daily Staff Report
Vail, CO Colorado

AVON, Colorado ” With identity theft among the fastest growing crimes in the nation, Avon police have tips to help residents protect themselves.

The International Chiefs of Police estimate that one in four people in the United States will be a victim of this crime, especially during this tax season. Avon Police Chief Brian Kozak, has the following tips for tax time:

– Check your tax preparer’s history: Conduct research on your potential tax preparer through the Better Business Bureau and verify that the preparer uses good security practices.

– Keep all your tax paperwork secure: Keep tax paperwork hidden in your home or locked in a safe and never leave sensitive forms in your car or briefcase.

– Shred paperwork ” Any old tax forms or receipts that can be discarded must be shredded.

– Secure computer files ” Protect computer documents with passwords and assure that your firewalls are updated.

– Only use secured mailboxes ” Never leave tax returns in unsecured mailboxes. Deposit tax returns at the post office and request that refund checks be directly deposited into your bank account. This will avoid the risk of the check being stolen from the mail.

– Do not become a victim of IRS scams – The IRS does not initiate taxpayer communications through e-mail. Never provide bank accounts or social security numbers for refunds over the e-mail.

If you should become a victim of identify theft, report the crime to your local law enforcement agency immediately. You can find more useful tips at http://www.idsafety.org and http://www.ftc.gov.

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