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Tax Filing Season and Mortgages: What You Need to Know
February 5, 2015
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March 2, 2016
Protect Your Finances and Your Identity
March 3, 2015
Nothing can be more destructive to your financial profile than having your accounts compromised, or worse, your identity stolen. Protecting yourself from identity theft, especially during income tax filing season, is an important and continual process.
Here are some tips to keep you and your family safe from spammers, scammers and skimmers.
Emailing Account Information
Financial institutions would never email you asking you to confirm all of your sensitive, personal data. Nor would they call you for this information. If you receive a phishing email, an email that looks legitimate that is asking for your data, contact your financial institution to see if the email is valid, or in fact a fraud. They may ask you for forward phishing emails to their Fraud Department to investigate.
Tax Season Scams
There are a lot of scams that happen during income tax filing season, including IRS impersonation scams, tax preparers falsely filing returns and myriad phone scams. Be sure you're sharing your information with someone you trust, and be wary of someone trying to falsify records to maximize your return. If you're ever audited by the IRS, you will be required to show proof of how you or your tax preparer arrived at the figures on your return.
Your bank account can suffer drastically at the hands of a skimming device. Typically placed on ATMs or over the credit card slot on gas station pumps, a skimmer is a plastic device that goes over the regular credit card swiper with the aim to capture your card information. Once captured, the device is removed and sold to someone who will retrieve the card information, create fraudulent debit/credit cards, and sell them for use.
If your account is compromised, or you fear your identity has been stolen, make sure you follow these steps, and remember, it can be a long road to correcting the damage caused by an identity thief. Always consult your trusted mortgage loan professional if you have any questions about these steps while you're getting a mortgage.
Place a fraud alert with the credit reporting companies.