While identity theft can affect all of us at any time of the year, the FTC brings attention to tax season to ensure that people look at their financial records and credit before filing the most essential documents of the year. Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week occurs in the last week of January leading up to the first days of February to help people be aware and security conscious about the information they submit. This most recent awareness week fell from January 30th to February 3rd. However, if you want to start early this year, 2023/2024’s Awareness week will fall from January 29th to February 2nd. 

Your taxes are an outline of your life and earnings, don’t let them be affected by a thief. Keeping an eye on your credit reports and statements is essential no matter what time of the year. 

How This Affects You

Taxes are an essential part of your identity within this country. Our social security number is what separates us from everyone else around us. It creates a secure credit, identity, and tax parameter for us to be able to live our lives. That is how we earn jobs, take out loans, purchase a house, and so much more. If this number is taken from us, it will only be a matter of time before our identity is stolen and our credit reports show transactions and changes that we can not account for. 

It has become easier for people to obtain social security numbers and use them for their own gain. One of the most significant scams people see today around tax season is getting a fake tax return sent to them and filing that fake tax return. This can scam people out of hundreds of dollars and also their private information. 

What To Expect Through Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week

Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week is put on by the Federal Trade Commission, advocating for people of the country to take notice of their identities and the possible dangers they leave themselves open to. This week is full of educational webinars, live shows, podcasts, and other various resources to help people learn more about identity theft. 

These tools and resources teach people to reduce their risk of identity theft, see the signs of identity theft, stay ahead of hackers, and protect themselves and their businesses. The FTC puts on these webinars for those of all ages, wanting everyone from college to retirement to have the education they need to protect themselves. 

Why Is It Important?

A week to bring awareness to identity theft is essential to people of any age and any career. It can be easy to imagine it never happens to you, but in the end, it can happen to any of us. By utilizing this week of education, you can be ready and prepared if the time comes. This week also shines a light on the importance of your taxes. If there is incorrect information being sent with your taxes, this can make the whole process longer and more strenuous. The FTC can help you protect your taxes and keep them personal to you, as they should be. 

And, at the end of the day, this is your money. No one has the right to take it from you or pretend to be you to take what they want. This informative week is to ensure that you have the education and resources at your disposal to keep your money and identity secure. 

Keep Yourself Safe Through The Whole Year

While keeping yourself safe during tax season can save you time, money, and energy, maintaining this level of security throughout the rest of the year is essential. Hackers can get your information at any time and leave you with loans and transactions that you did not do. By utilizing Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week, you can obtain the resources you need to have a safe year and beyond. 

However, if something does occur, the FTC walks you through the proper steps to get your identity back. If reporting it to the FTC and the three major credit bureaus do nothing, it can be time to find a consumer lawyer to ensure the proper steps are taken and your identity is back in your hands. 

Identity theft can happen to anyone at any time. If you have experienced this and have yet to get the results you are looking for, reach out to the team at Stecklein & Rapp.