The Indiana Department of Revenue (DOR), in collaboration with the Internal Revenue Service, will host a National Tax Security Awareness Week starting November 27 to encourage taxpayers to take additional steps in protecting their personal and financial information before the 2018 tax season.
“National Tax Security Awareness Week offers DOR an opportunity to better educate our Hoosier taxpayers on how to protect themselves against cybercriminals,” said DOR Commissioner Adam Krupp.
“As the holiday season brings exciting deals for shopping, it also brings the threat of online thieves seeking to trick customers into disclosing sensitive information—information that could be used to file a fraudulent tax return.”
Starting next week, DOR will release helpful information each day for individuals and businesses to consider as they prepare for the upcoming tax season. But the holiday season isn’t the only time Indiana stands up to cybercriminals.
Since 2014, Indiana has been one of the leading states in developing and implementing innovative ways to protect against identity theft and prevent fraud against Hoosier taxpayers. In 2016, more than $4.8 million in tax fraud was stopped through DOR’s Identity Protection Program.
“DOR is leading the charge of tax security as one of the top agencies in the United States with over $100 million in fraud stopped since its inception in 2014,” said Commissioner Krupp. “DOR is making it extremely difficult for cybercriminals to attack Indiana’s taxpayers. As a result, we are seeing a gradual decline in fraud attempts, saving Hoosiers millions of dollars.”
Part of DOR’s Identity Protection Program is the Identity Confirmation Quiz, which asks selected customers a series of four questions. These questions are designed so only the customer would know the answers. The quiz is easy and convenient, and can be completed within minutes.
A total of 184,957 individuals have taken and passed the quiz for the 2016 filing season.
Whether or not customers receive a confirmation quiz, there are three key steps DOR urges customers to take ensure their information remains secure, including:
• Learn to recognize fraud by avoiding phishing emails and ignore any threatening phone calls from thieves posing as your bank, credit card companies and government organizations.
• Always use security software with firewall and anti-virus protections. Make sure the security software is always turned on and can automatically update.
• Protect your personal data. Use strong, unique passwords for each online account. Don’t routinely carry your Social Security card, and make sure your tax records are secure. Treat your personal information like you do your cash; don’t leave it lying around.
For additional information on how to protect against identity theft, visit the DOR website www.dor.in.gov/4794.htm or learn more about what to do if fallen victim to identify theft at www.in.gov/dor/5034.htm.