3 Simple Ways to Protect Yourself Against Income Tax Fraud

Mon, 16 Mar 2015

According to IRS reports, income tax fraud is on the rise. Every year there are more criminals trying to steal “Personally Identifiable Information” (PII) so they can file a fraudulent tax return or commit identity theft.

Income tax fraud is a crime of opportunity. When you receive personal income tax documents by standard mail, your information passes through a number of hands before it lands in your mailbox – increasing the risk for theft and fraud. So what’s the solution?


#1 Eliminate the Opportunity of Mail Interception by Enrolling in Statement eDelivery & Other Banking Notices

In cases of income tax fraud, often times PII is obtained via mail interception. While you are waiting for your tax information to be delivered via standard mail, a fraudster may have already removed this information from your mailbox.

With Webster, you can enroll in Statement eDelivery & Other Banking Notices to have your tax documents posted to your secure, online profile. This way, you’ll know that your information is completely private and safe.

As soon as your document(s) become available online, you will be notified via a secure, generic email that will not contain your sensitive information. You will then have immediate access to the documents you need to safely file your return.

Related Article: Go Paperless to Go Green


#2 Switch to Direct Deposit

During income tax time, putting a check in the mail and raising the red flag is like an invitation to thieves looking for confidential information. Criminals look for outgoing mail containing income tax payment checks, which they can wash and use fraudulently. They also search incoming mail for tax refund checks.

Elect to have your refund check direct deposited into your account, eliminating the chance of a mailed check being stolen and making your refund available to you sooner.


#3 Archive Your Tax Documents Online

Tax documents that are stored in home file cabinets are easily accessible to anyone who enters the home. We offer free online archiving of tax documents, and other banking documents from Webster, such as your monthly statements. The online archiving of these documents makes referring to previous years’ documents safer, faster, and easier than storing them in paper-form.

However, if paper documents are required, they are just a click away, as all documents are posted in a printer friendly format for your convenience. Just be sure to properly shred and safely discard all paper forms to protect your identity.

At Webster, we do everything we can to protect our customers’ personal information and provide the tools you need to protect yourself against fraud and identity theft. Learn more about our online banking services, including Statement eDelivery & Other Banking Notices and Online Bill Pay.

Related Article: Could You Spot the Signs of Tax Identity Theft?


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