Webinars, Social Media Events focus on helping consumers reduce their risk
The Federal Trade Commission will mark Tax Identity Theft Week, January 30 – February 3, with a series of events to alert consumers and businesses to ways they can minimize their risk of tax identity theft, and recover if it happens.
What is tax identity theft? It’s when a scammer files a fraudulent tax return using someone else’s Social Security number (SSN) and steals the victim’s refund. Employment-related tax identity theft occurs when someone uses another person’s SSN to earn wages that are then reported as the victim’s income.
This year’s Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week will feature special events for consumers, tax professionals, small businesses and veterans. The FTC will join with the IRS, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the AARP Fraud Watch Network and others to discuss tax identity theft, IRS imposter scams, cybersecurity and identity theft recovery. Learn more – and join the discussion – at the following events (all times listed are Eastern):
- Jan. 30, 2 p.m. The FTC, IRS, and the National Association of Tax Professionals offer a webinar for tax professionals – Tax Identity Theft: Tax Professionals on the Ramparts. Topics include scams targeting tax professionals, cybersecurity, protecting client data, and how tax professionals can help identity theft victims.
- Jan. 31, 3 p.m. The FTC and the Identity Theft Resource Center invite consumers to join a Twitter chat focused on tax identity theft, how to protect yourself, and what to do if you become a victim.
- Feb. 1, 11 a.m. The FTC and the Department of Veterans Affairs co-host a Twitter chat about tax identity theft for service members, veterans, and their families. Learn to minimize your risk and how to recover if tax identity theft happens to you.
- Feb. 1, 1 p.m. The FTC, Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration discuss tax identity theft, IRS imposter scams, how to lower your risk, and what to do if you become a victim, during a webinar for veterans, their families, and those who serve them.
- Feb. 1, 4 p.m. The FTC and IRS offer a free webinar for small businesses: Protecting Sensitive Business and Customer Information. Learn about tax identity theft, imposter scams targeting businesses, data breach avoidance and response, and free resources to help you protect your business, employees and customers.
- Feb. 2, 2 p.m. The FTC, AARP Fraud Watch Network, AARP Foundation’s Tax-Aide program, and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration co-host a webinar about how tax identity theft and IRS imposter scams occur, and recovery steps for victims.
In addition to these events, the FTC has created a wide array of materials to help educate people about this growing issue, all of which can be found at ftc.gov/taxidtheft. The materials are available in English and Spanish, and feature ways that people can share information about tax identity theft with their friends and families.
The Federal Trade Commission works to promote competition, and protect and educate consumers. You can learn more about consumer topics and file a consumer complaint online or by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP (382-4357). Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, read our blogs and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.