Hand writing a check.

Don't Abbreviate 2020

The New Year has the potential to give scammers a new way to forge documents and checks, but there’s a simple solution: Stop abbreviating the year 2020.

Abbreviating the year 2020 as 20 allows scammers to easily pre-date or post-date your legal documents and checks. It’s easy to change the abbreviated 20, to 2019 or 2021 by adding two numbers to the end. Bad guys can easily manipulate those numbers and leave people potentially vulnerable to fraud.

  • No: 01/16/20
  • Yes: 01/16/2020

Dating documents with the year written out in full, is an easy precaution against fraudulent behavior. Better safe than sorry.

Tax Season Scams

This is the time of year to also be aware of tax related fraud and schemes. Tax fraud is preventable. Reduce your risk of fraud by taking the following steps:

  • Use secure internet connections and install security software, including firewall and antivirus protections. Do not use public Wi-Fi or hotspots to access your accounts or e-file your taxes.
  • Use strong passwords for e-filing and update them every few months.
  • Protect your personal data by keeping tax files and your Social Security card in a secure place.
  • Get an Identity Protection (IP) PIN from the IRS. An IP PIN is a six-digit number assigned to eligible taxpayers that helps prevent the misuse of Social Security numbers on fraudulent federal income tax returns

Important things to know. The IRS will NEVER do the following:

  • Contact you by phone, e-mail, text or social media to demand payment.
  • Require you to use a specific payment method.
  • Demand your credit card information over the phone.
  • Threaten to get the police involved.
  • Email you to confirm tax data. Lookout for emails designed to appear, then requests to confirm personal information, or set up a PIN. Clicking on links within the email will route you to a fake IRS site, where you’ll be asked to verify e-file information or enter your Social Security Number

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