Security & Consumer Alerts
To help protect against fraudulent activity, Citizens Savings Bank and Trust Co. strongly recommends up-to-date anti-virus, anti-spam, anti-spyware and anti-malware programs, as well as your device’s latest Operational System (OS) update.
November 6, 2020
The Federal Trade Commission has launched a new website to help consumers easily report fraud and any other consumer issues. You can submit reports about bad business practices, scam, and fraud by visiting ReportFraud.ftc.gov.
7 Tips to Prevent Tax ID Fraud
1. File early. File your tax return as soon as you’re able giving criminals less time to use your information to file a false return.
2. File on a protected Wi-Fi network. If you’re using an online service to file your return, be sure you’re connected to a password-protected personal network. Avoid using public networks like a Wi-Fi hotspot at a coffee shop.
3. Use a secure mailbox. If you’re filing by mail, drop your tax return at the post office or an official postal box instead of your mailbox at home. Some criminals look for completed tax return forms in home mailboxes during tax season.
4. Find a tax preparer you trust. If you’re planning to hire someone to do your taxes, get recommendations and research a tax preparer thoroughly before handing over all of your financial information.
5. Shred what you don’t need. Once you’ve completed your tax return, shred the sensitive documents that you no longer need and safely file away the ones you do.
6. Beware of phishing scams by email, text or phone. Scammers may try to solicit sensitive information by impersonating the IRS. Know that the IRS will not contact you by email, text or social media. If the IRS needs information, they will contact you by mail first.
7. Keep an eye out for missing mail. Fraudsters look for W-2s, tax refunds or other mail containing your financial information. If you don’t receive your W-2s, and your employer indicates they’ve been mailed, or it looks like it has been previously opened upon delivery, contact the IRS immediately.
If you believe you’re a victim of tax identity theft or if the IRS denies your tax return because one has previously been filed under your name, alert the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit at 1-800-908-4490. In addition, you should:
- Respond immediately to any IRS notice and complete IRS Form 14039, Identity Theft Affidavit.
- Contact your bank immediately, and close any accounts opened without your permission or tampered with.
Contact the three major credit bureaus to place a fraud alert on your credit records:
Equifax, www.Equifax.com, 1-800-525-6285
Experian, www.Experian.com, 1-888-397-3742
TransUnion, www.TransUnion.com, 1-800-680-7289
Continue to pay your taxes and file your tax return, even if you must do so by paper.
More information about tax identity theft is available from the FTC at: ftc.gov/taxidtheft and, the IRS at irs.gov/identitytheft.
Credit Repair and How to Obtain your Credit Report
If you are trying to get your credit on the right track, the Federal Trade Commission website offers valuable information on credit repair. To learn more, read their article on “Credit Repair: How to Help Yourself.”
As you are starting the process, you may want to obtain a copy of your credit report. Under Federal Law, you are entitled to obtain a copy from all three credit reporting agencies – Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion – every 12 months. Visit the AnnualCreditReport.com website to get your copy today.
CONSUMER EDUCATION TOOLS
FDIC Consumer Education
Visit the FDIC’s Consumer News and Information page to learn about:
- FDIC Consumer News
- Consumer News Companion Audio
- Money Smart News
- Videos on Consumer Issues
- FDIC’s Depositor Bill of Rights
- Consumer Alerts
- Consumer Response Center
- Consumer Assistance Online Form
- Consumer Financial Rights
- Fostering Consumer Confidence in Banking
- Natural Disaster Impact on Banking Operations
To learn more about how to prevent being a victim of Phishing fraud, you can use the tips provided in this article.
Protect Your Identity
Few tips on how to prevent Identity Theft:
- Stay away from suspicious websites and links
- Do not share personal information
- Use security features on your mobile device
- Update your device’s security software
- Review your credit and bank statements
For more information, you can visit www.usa.gov/identity-theft.