Tax season is often hunting season for the bad guys. Protect yourself by taking some basic precautions.

Fraudulent claims to tax refunds is a major issue these days. Fraudsters are looking for ways and means to file your tax return before you do in order to collect a refund. A pretty bold move, and one that you can defend against by following these steps, as provided by AARP.

  • File early!
  • If filing online, don’t do so in a public place over a wireless signal that may not be encrypted.
  • If filing at home with a computer, make sure your computer has up-to-date virus software and is protected by a firewall. Your home network, if wireless, should be protected with a network key.
  • Don’t leave your tax returns unprotected on your computer. Protect them with a good password or transfer them to a portable drive that can be securely stored.
  • Don’t click on email attachments or links from people you do not know. You may be inadvertently installing software that can get your private information.
  • If you get a call or letter from someone claiming to be from the IRS, verify it by calling 1-800-829-1040. Unsolicited emails from the IRS are scams. Browse the IRS website for more information.

Peoples Bank makes serious effort to protect your financial information. You can do much, too, by following basic security protocols. Get more information about what you can do to protect and secure your personal information on The Real Peoples Bank online security blog posts.