Big Bear Lake, CA, March 27, 2013 – It’s time to file your taxes, and you should be aware of safety precautions to protect your personal identity from being stolen. During tax season, a lot of sensitive, private information is exchanged causing consumers to be vulnerable. The following five tips will protect your personal identification during tax preparation:

  1. Know Who’s Helping You: Work with someone familiar and trustworthy. If you’re thinking of hiring a new accountant or using a tax preparation service, do some research first and check with the Better Business Bureau for complaints.
  2. File Your Taxes As Soon As Possible: Filing sooner rather than later gives identity thieves less time to file tax returns with stolen Social Security numbers.
  3. Use Secure WiFi to E-File: If you’re filing through TurboTax or another online program, be sure to send your personal information through a secure password protected wireless Internet connection.
  4. Mail Taxes Personally: If you’re mailing your tax forms using the US Postal Service, don’t put your taxes in someone else’s hands. Mail the information directly at the post office and cut out the middleman.
  5. Watch Out for IRS Email Scams: A huge red flag is an “IRS email”, this is likely a phishing scam, since proper notification for personal information will only be sent to you from the IRS through regular mail.