National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW) is scheduled for March 2-8. NCPW is a coordinated campaign that encourages consumers to take advantage of their consumer rights and make better informed decisions.
NCPW.gov offers consumers a myriad of helpful information from federal and state government and non-profit partner organizations. The website provides safety tips in the areas of banking, health, safety, home, automobile, technology, identity theft, investing and shopping. The NCPW webpage is worth a look.
Tax identity theft is one of the fastest growing forms of identity theft in the U.S. Tax identity theft occurs when someone uses your Social Security Number (SSN) to get a tax refund or a job. Jessica Rich, Director of the Federal Trade Commission Bureau of Consumer Protection, offers these helpful tips for avoiding tax identity theft:
- File your tax return early in the season.
- Use a secure internet connection if you file electronically, or mail your tax return directly from the post office.
- Shred copies of your tax return, drafts, or calculation sheets you no longer need.
- Know the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) won’t contact you by email, text or social media. If the IRS needs information, it will contact you by mail.
- Respond to all mail from the IRS as soon as possible.
- Don’t give out your SSN unless necessary.
- Research a tax preparer thoroughly before you hand over personal information.
- If your SSN has been compromised, contact the IRS Identity Theft Protection Specialized Unit at 800-908-4490.
- Check your credit report at least once a year to make sure no other accounts have been opened in your name.
Until next month-Proud to Serve…Sworn to Protect
Yours in Service,
Ronald L. Whitmer
Chief of Police
(440) 423-4405 ext. 132