10 Things You Should Know About Identity Theft (download
are everywhere. Identity theft has become a major problem.
Strictly speaking, identity theft occurs when someone
literally steals your identity.
They set up bank accounts, take out credit cards, file tax
returns, and borrow money in your name. Related scams
include someone using your credit card number illegally or
stealing your PIN a nd looting your bank account.
Bogus e-mails designed to steal your identity, also known
as phishing, are becoming a major problem. While they can take
many different forms, most scams are designed to trick you
into revealing personal information such as your social
security number or online account password.
Through clever use of logos and
familiar-looking web addresses, these e-mails often appear to
be an urgent message from your bank, mortgage lender, or
Thieves are especially eager to gain access to your web
e-mail account. Why? Once a scammer has access to your
e-mails, he or she can often figure out where you bank and
detect clues to passwords you might use.
So what can you do to protect yourself? Take a moment and
think before you click. Never respond to an e-mail asking for
your social security number or birth date. You can almost bet
that it is a scam. If an e-mail contains a website link that
you a re not familiar with, do not click on it. Instead,
either go directly to the company's trusted website, or
contact them by phone.
alert to scams if you're job hunting. Crooks can find
your resume online and, posing as recruiters, e-mail you
asking for personal information to do "a background check."
E-mail scams become more prevalent following a significant
public event, such as a natural disaster or sudden stock
market drop. Thieves will prey on your sympathies or fears
during these times, so be extra careful when responding to
appeals for charity. Also, be leery of e-mails with
demanding language or incorrect grammar - both are potential
signs of a counterfeit e-mail.
For preventive measures, try to use a different password for
every online account, and change your passwords regularly.
Make your passwords stronger by using combinations of letters,
symbols, and numbers. Also, keep your computer anti-virus
software up to date.
month in USA Today I was quoted in 2 articles on tax
topics & if you missed it you can download the articles
9 Commonly Overlooked
Tax Breaks by Jeff Reeves - Special to USA Today (click
here to download)
9 Tax Tips For The Self
Employed by Jeff Reeves - Special to USA Today (click
here to download)
Providing too many details about yourself on a social
networking site can also lead to problems. Giving your birth
date, family information, and other facts could enable a scam
artist to put together enough information to impersonate you.
The IRS is warning taxpayers not to respond to e-mails and
phone calls they may receive which claim to come from the
IRS or another federal agency. Such contacts are likely to be
scams whose purpose is to obtain personal and financial
information from taxpayers - information that is then used by
the scammers to commit identity theft.
Typically, the scam e-mail or phone call states that the IRS
needs certain information to process a tax return or refund.
The e-mail contains links or attachments to what appears to be
the IRS website or an IRS form. Though they appear genuine,
these phonies are designed to get from taxpayers the
information scammers need to steal identities. The links can
even download malicious software onto the taxpayer's computer
an especially aggressive phone scam, the caller claims to be
from the IRS and tells the intended victims they owe taxes
which must be paid immediately with a pre-pa id debit card
or wire transfer. Individuals who don't pay up are threatened
with arrest or loss of their business or driver's license.
Watch for these signs that the call is a scam:
- Use of fake IRS badge numbers.
- Caller knows the last four digits of your social security number.
- Caller ID appears as if IRS is calling.
- Bogus IRS e-mail is sent as follow-up.
- Second call claims to be from police or DMV, again supported by
fraudulent caller 10.
Scam artists constantly think of creative new ways to steal
your personal data. Scams to watch for:
- Bogus tax forms that appear to come from the IRS requesting personal
- Fake letters from your bank asking for "account update" information.
- Bogus e-mails from retailers or Internet service providers asking you to
update credit and account details.
- Phone calls or e-mails referring to fraud problems on your account and
asking you to "confirm" personal data.
- Bogus applications for low interest credit cards asking for your credit
and personal details.
Identity theft is no longer a novel occurrence, and it's easy
to become bored and let down your guard. Take identity theft
seriously, or you could become the next victim. Remember, it's
not just the potential financial loss that can occur when your
identity is stolen; it's the months (and even years) of your
life that may be lost to sorting out the problem and regaining
Don't make the mistake of
thinking identity theft is mainly an online problem. There
are very real offline ways to fall victim to identity theft.
In fact, you may be in greater danger from con artists
rummaging through your trash or stealing your mail than from
Below is our 2015 schedule for
my live Q&A calls. I have 2 calls needing topics
so if you have a suggestion please email me. If
you have not already done so please
register and you'll receive email reminders when the
Q&A Webinar Schedule
here to Register - all calls at 6:00 pm PT)
April 28, 2015 -
Maximizing Social Security
June 30, 2015 -
Wage & Hour - Sick Day Pay & Hot
Topics | Anita York
July 28, 2015 -
Most Common Operational Issues
Currently Encountered in Dental Practices
Aug 25, 2015 -
Sept 29, 2015 -
What's Your Practice Worth &
Getting Ready for Sale
Oct 27, 2015 -
Nov 17, 2015 -
Year End Tax Planning 2015
To read this & my other articles online go to
and click on the Newsletter section.
always you can call me at 714-619-0667 if you have any
questions about investing, retirement or any other tax &
accounting related issues.
Regards, Monica Rebella, CPA/IAR
President, Rebella Accountancy