Tax season is one of the most active times for identity theft and targeted phishing attacks.
What can you do to protect yourself?
Quite a lot!
- Check your credit report regularly (available free at www.annualcreditreport.com) and share a copy with us at www.openwindowFS.com/share.
- Consider establishing a credit freeze by contacting any national credit bureau.
Transunion: 1-800-680-7289, Experian: 1-888-397-3742, Equifax: 1-888-766-0008.
- Try to file your taxes early - before a scammer can.
- Guard your personally identifiable information.
If you ever receive an email from a friend or colleague like us requesting this type of information, contact them directly before responding. If you do share information, try to keep it out of email where prying eyes could someday come across it.
- If you receive a phone call requesting remote access to your personal computer — hang up. We will never request access to your computer outside our normal screen-sharing tools.
- The IRS will never threaten or demand payment over the phone. Call it old-fashioned, but the IRS and the Social Security Administration will contact you by US mail.
- Review your credit card and bank statements/transactions frequently.
In this day and age, online access and electronic statements are not more secure than paper mailings, plus you can keep an active eye on recent transactions and identify fraudulent activity immediately. Access Your Open Window Personal Financial Website to automatically track, categorize, and set up alerts for suspicious transactions (www.openwindowFS.com/plan).
- Consider signing up for a robocall blocking service.
Many phone service providers now offer robocall blocking solutions at no additional charge. You can also download robocall protection for free or at a minimal cost through third-party apps like Hiya, Nomorobo, or RoboKiller.
What if they still succeed?
- Change the password on any affected accounts.
- Begin a recovery plan at www.identitytheft.gov by following the “Get Started” link.
- Place a free, one-year fraud alert by contacting any national credit bureau. Your alert will be shared with the other credit bureaus.
- Notify Open Window by calling (775) 827-0670.
Need more information? Send us a quick note and ask to see our collection of protective tips.