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Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week – Day Four focused on businesses. Information on how to protect your business from tax ID fraud, warning signs and information about emerging scams was provided by the FTC. Here are the points that we found to be most informative.

How Does ID Theft Happen?

There are three main ways that ID theft occurs:

  1. Data Breaches – Information is obtained illegally, either electronically or physically.
  2. Malware – Viruses obtained on company computers which give access to criminals, who then steal your information.
  3. Phishing/Spear Phishing – E-mails intended to coax you into providing personal information which is then used for fraudulent tax returns, unauthorized purchases, etc.

Security Is Important.

Keeping your information, your employees information and your clients information secure is of the utmost importance.

  • Create a culture of security in your workplace.
  • Ask yourself important questions regarding data:
    • What kinds of info do you collect?
    • How long is it kept?
    • Who is it shared with?
    • Who has access?
  • Sensitive data should only be accessed by those who must use it for job duties.
  • Minimize network admin privileges.

Identify Warning Signs Of Business Identity Theft

There are a few common warning signs you may receive from the IRS that businesses may have become a victim of identity theft:

  • Notices about fictitious employees.
  • Notices about a closed or dormant business.
  • Your tax return is accepted as an amended one.

Emerging Scams

Each year there are new scams designed to take advantage of businesses and employees. Here are a few of the latest:

  • Phishing e-mails posing as the IRS.
  • Phishing e-mails posing as new clients.
  • Spoofing e-mails to payroll personnel (HR, for example) requesting all employee W-2 forms.
  • Requesting remote takeovers of tax preparer computers.


  • Provide top-notch security software.
    • Anti-virus
    • Firewall
    • File encryption
    • Secure WiFi
    • Backup Files
  • Educate employees about safe online practices.
    • Never download files or click links from unknown sources.
    • Inform employees of latest trends in phishing e-mails and schemes.

These are the highlights from Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week – Day Four. We hope that you’ve learned some new tricks to keep your business, your employees and your clients protected.

A Free Guide on How To Secure Your Identity & Protect Your Data