In the tax industry, we have been working to combat the threat of hackers for many years. When a security breach of the scope of the recent Equifax cyber security incident takes place, many clients are affected and concerned about how this may affect their financial lives.
What you need to know.
From May through July of 2017, Equifax reported unauthorized access to approximately 143 million American’s personal data, including names, social security numbers, birth dates, and in some instances driver’s licenses. In addition, some 209,000 credit card numbers were accessed.
Steps to protect your identity.
Equifax has set up a special website dedicated to the breach event to help consumers find out if they have been impacted. The website will allow affected consumers to sign up for credit file monitoring and other identity theft protection. In addition, the company has set up a special call center to handle inbound inquiries. Equifax can be reached at 1-866-447-7559.
Step one is to see if your personal data was compromised. Visit the Equifax potential impact web page to start your inquiry.
Your identity and the IRS
The Equifax data breach is just one-way identity thieves can access your personal information. The IRS has published their list of common identity theft scams. Regardless if you were affected by the recent Equifax data breach, it is best practice to use common sense when sharing any personal data with third parties. If you have been a victim of the Equifax data breach, follow these 7 steps when communicating with the IRS about identity theft.
When in doubt, feel free to reach out to this office to verify any IRS correspondence or other suspicious activity when it comes to your tax filing.