Equifax Hacking Debacle Means You Should File Your 2017 Tax Returns Earliest
September 11, 2017
The recent revelation that Equifax was hacked in July 2017 and that virtually its entire database was likely stolen, exposing every adult taxpayer in the United States to identity theft was bad enough. It is the understanding what that really means that is settling in and terrifying everyone.
Assume your personal data is out there in the public domain available to any bidder on the dark web. Everyone, and we mean everyone, will now be subject to credit accounts being opened in their name. Spurious charges to current accounts are also possible. That means keeping an eye out for unusual charging activity on your accounts, and any unexpected mailings from new creditors. Checking your credit report at least once a year (which is free by law) would also be prudent.
Add to that something more frustrating--tax refund theft. The Equifax stolen data will make it easier for criminals to file faux tax returns and claim bogus refunds. The best bet in heading this off? File your tax returns as early as possible, before criminals can accumulate enough information to do so for you. Have proof that you are already a victim? Request from the IRS and tax filing ID number. Tax returns cannot be filed without them if they have been assigned to y0u.
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