Study: Four in Five Taxpayers Are at Risk of Identity Theft
ThreatMetrix, the fastest-growing provider of integrated cybercrime prevention solutions, has identified the top precautions taxpayers should take when e-filing to protect their returns against cybercriminals. According to Forbes, more than 80 percent of taxpayers filed electronically in 2012. That number is expected to grow this year as the IRS pushes e-filing as an "easier and faster process," meaning billions of refund dollars are at risk.
"The information you provide an online tax preparation service is a goldmine for criminals who want to steal your identity," said Alisdair Faulkner, chief products officer, ThreatMetrix. "Targeting e-filers is also attractive to cybercriminals because tax fraud is particularly difficult to detect. Unlike traditional tax filing, e-filing leaves no signed tax forms, envelopes or fingerprints."
According to the Wall Street Journal, tax-identity theft exploded to more than 1.1 million cases in 2011, with an additional 1.5 million potentially fraudulent 2011 tax refunds Discovered by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration last summer. To prevent this from happening on 2012 tax returns, ThreatMetrix has identified five precautions taxpayers can take to safeguard their accounts and information while e-filing: