Article | 1:44 min read

Ways to Keep Your Identity Safe this Tax Season


As tax season approaches, the risk of tax related identity theft increases.

Desk calendar with tax time sticky note

Tax related identity theft can occur online, through email, and in person. It is important to remember that the IRS will never call you with threats of jail or lawsuits, send you an unsolicited email suggesting you have a refund or that you need to update your account, or request any sensitive information online. These are all scams and they are persistent. By taking a few simple steps, you can better protect yourself from identity thieves.

  1. Keep Your Devices Secure

    If you shop online or use public Wi-Fi you may be at risk of tax related identity theft.
    • Use firewall and security software and set it to allow automatic updates for phones, computers, and tablets.
    • Use strong, unique passwords
    • Use multi-factor authentication whenever possible. It helps prevent thieves from easily hacking accounts.
    • Give personal information only over encrypted websites- look for “https” addresses
    • Avoid shopping on unsecured public Wi-Fi in places like the mall, coffee shops, or restaurants
    • Backup your files
  2. Avoid Phishing Scams and Malware

    Identity thieves use phishing emails to trick users into giving up passwords and other information. Fraudsters may also contact you claiming they are employees of the IRS, but are not. You might be told you owe money to the IRS and if you refuse, scammers may threaten you. Here is what you should look for:
    • Emails that pose as trustworthy sources such as your bank or tax provider
    • Emails with an urgent message that include a link or attachment
    • Never download software or apps from pop-up advertising
  3. Get an Identity Protection PIN

    Taxpayers who can validate their identities can obtain an Identity Protection PIN. An IP PIN is a six-digit code that prevents an identity thief from filing a fraudulent tax return using your Social Security number. Use the Get an Identity Protection PIN tool at to immediately get an IP PIN, and make sure to never share your IP PIN with anyone but a trusted tax provider.

If you become a victim of tax related identity theft, forward IRS-related scam emails to and report IRS impersonation telephone calls at

The information provided in these articles is intended for informational purposes only. It is not to be construed as the opinion of Central Bancompany, Inc., and/or its subsidiaries and does not imply endorsement or support of any of the mentioned information, products, services, or providers. All information presented is without any representation, guaranty, or warranty regarding the accuracy, relevance, or completeness of the information.