April 15th is an anxious day for many of us. We do the very best we can, hire professional CPAs, if needed, make our filings with the IRS, and wait.
It can be an anxious time, indeed.
But lurking behind the scenes is a threat even more imposing than a potential IRS Audit or dispute. It’s the risk of Identity Theft..
During the months leading up to April, mailboxes are filled with identity laden documents and statements. These include W-2 forms, 1099s, Dividend and Interest Statements, and a host of other documents revealing portions of our personal and confidential information.
Are perpetrators “lying in wait” for this information? They could be! It’s all there for the taking, sitting in our mailboxes while most of us toil at work.
Names, Addresses, Account Numbers and, at the very least, the last 4 digits of our Social Security numbers.
Today, almost every entity we deal with, whether a financial institution or simply our cable/internet provider, asks a few questions to ensure we are who we say we are. The last question is always: What are the last 4 digits of your Social Security number?
For each of us, the risk of Identity Theft grows daily. Unfortunately, we often don’t consider preventative action until our information is compromised – a letter from our Bank or Credit Card company noting suspicious charges, activity, or even a breach on their end.
When this occurs, the sensory alerts go off and our level of concern is heightened. We make calls to the various providers of Identity Protection and discuss the coverage scenarios and the costs. After a few weeks with no real damage incurred, the concern begins to fade and the issue of Identity Theft is relegated to a discussion over dinner or at social gatherings.
Until next time.
Truth is, almost all of us have received a letter or two about potential information compromise. Whether it was Target, Home Depot, Neiman Marcus, or any of the other entities that got “hacked” over the past few years, almost all of us have been “touched” with an identity theft scare.
It’s time to take action once and for all. It’s time to invest in a program that will provide you with some level of protection and remedy. There are a host of solid programs available for business owners and individuals that can protect employees, spouses and even children.
Consider having your mail routed to a P.O. Box for security. Consider purchasing Identity Theft protection. Consider your identity and everything you have at risk.
Protect yourself and your family. There are concerns much greater than the IRS.