INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Hoosiers have less than a month to file their taxes and CBS4 wants to make sure your personal data is protected. Cybersecurity experts say the threat of hackers stealing this sensitive information is ever increasing.
Millions of people will file their taxes online by the April 18 deadline which means personal information is being shared over the internet.
“Like your social security number, your financials,” Victor Wieczorek, Vice President of Application Security and Threat & Attack Simulation at GuidePoint Security, said. “Things that not only you can use to open up new lines of credit, and things that scammers can use to open up new credit cards and take out loans nefariously.”
Wieczorek hopes Hoosiers won’t fall for questionable deals.
“When it’s too good to be true, it probably is,” Wieczorek said. “So, if someone is offering an incredibly cheap service for you, there’s probably something else going on there. So, certainly, be a little skeptical of that. Obviously, there are multiple ways to verify the legitimacy of a business.”
With your research, remember the Internal Revenue Service has its own database to find reputable tax professionals.
“Try and verify that in multiple different ways and locations, preferably trying to find someone who’s used the service before and has positive feedback and not just a Google review,” Wieczorek advised.
Wieczorek also encourages people to check their credit reports, consider enabling locks on them and make sure taxpayers are sending their information in a safe way.
“Looking for that little green lock in your browser is important where you type in the web address to ensure that there is encryption being used,” Wieczorek said.
Wieczorek adds sticking with a reputable tax company is your best bet.
“Obviously, those are highly regulated and have made strong commitments and investments in security,” Wieczorek said. “Sticking with some of those more reputable organizations is probably the simplest way.”
Experts warn taxpayers of post-filing scams too. Bad actors will sometimes make aggressive claims they are with the IRS and demand money.
The IRS reiterates it will never reach out to you over the phone or email and demand money.