Last year, between January and May, 107,000 people reported being a victim of tax identity theft. This year, January 29th through February 2nd is Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week. What exactly is Tax Identity theft? Tax Identity Theft is when someone attempts to or successfully files a claim under your name in hopes of obtaining your refund. We know you work hard for that income, so let us help you protect it! Here are Ten refund saving tips, for keeping you safe. #1. Filing as soon as possible is the best practice. The logic is that if you file a legitimate claim right away, it will not be possible for the false claim to be processed. #2. Follow up with your claim after you have filed. Generally, it takes three weeks to return an e-file and six weeks to return a claim filed by paper. If the allotted time has passed, and you have not received your refund, we suggest a follow-up call. #3. Make sure you file with an actual person. Doing things online is convenient for the consumer, but it also makes things convenient for the attacker who is waiting for you to input private information. If you have no choice but to e-file, make sure you are using a secured wifi network. #4. While online, use strong passwords that are not associated with your loved one's names or birthdays. #5. Secure all of your personal information properly. Birth certificates, SSN Cards, and other identifying documents make the would-be robber's job a lot easier. #6. Properly dispose of all bank documents. In fact, treating your junk mail like bank statements is not a bad idea at all. Shred them! #7. Get a lock for your mailbox, easy access to your documents means you are an easy target. #8. Tax season is the prime calling time for scammers who pretend to be from a financial institution that you may or may not belong to. Be on the lookout and make sure to never give your personal information over the telephone to an unverified source. #9. If a false claim were to occur, it is imperative that you report it to the Federal Trade Commission so your incident can be rectified and to ensure that no one else becomes a victim. Fill out the Identity Theft Affidavit on their website. #10. A great way to know if you are a victim is to monitor your credit report. No one knows your spending and lending habits better than you, so be on top of anything that looks out of the ordinary. Carver Insurance Services, Inc. also offers Tax services! Contact us today to learn more.