Victim of Identity Theft? Your CPA Can Help.
Posted May 30, 2019
Cyber crime is, without a doubt, growing at a rapid rate and impacts millions of individuals and businesses. Identity theft, in particular, is on the rise, with more social security numbers being stolen than credit card numbers and $16.8 billion in losses in 2017 (Insurance Information Institute). As your trusted adviser, your CPA understands concerns about your privacy and takes many precautions to protect your information.
There are many types of identity theft. A thief could simply find your wallet and use your credit cards, or your social security number could be used to file a fraudulent tax return and claim your refund.
If you find yourself the victim of identity theft, your CPA can help you navigate the steps to reclaim your identity and peace of mind. Your CPA will be especially helpful in contacting the IRS and ensuring that any payments and refunds have been applied properly.
Steps to take after you have determined a breach include the following:
- Report the fraud to one of the three credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, or Transunion. They will then notify the other three.
- Request a copy of your credit report.
- Inform the credit bureaus and any creditors in writing of any errors or fraudulent activity.
- Obtain new cards for your accounts and destroy the old ones.
- Report the crime to the FTC (Federal Trade Commission).
- Contact the IRS (Your CPA will be especially helpful here).
- Contact your state tax agency.
These are just a sample of the steps you may need to take, depending on the type of breach. If you have been a victim of identity fraud, call our office for assistance with the next steps in clearing up the issues and protecting your identity going forward.
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