Identity theft remains a serious issue across the United States and the Arizona Department of Revenue (ADOR) is reminding taxpayers to be on alert for identity theft scam artists.
Thieves steal identities a number of different ways including using card-skimming devices, access through unsecure Wi-Fi, stealing mail, a data breach or hacking email accounts to obtain log-in passwords and financial data. They also use phishing schemes or use false pretenses to obtain personal information.
To help prevent being the victim of identity theft, the agency recommends the following:
- Do not carry identification with your social security number (SSN) on it.
- If someone asks for a SSN, always ask why because it is not always required.
- Keep personal and confidential information in a secure place.
- Take extra precautions when discarding personal or confidential information.
- Protect personal computers, smartphones and other devices by using anti-virus software.
- Use strong passwords and never share your passwords.
- Check your free credit report annually at www.annualcreditreport.com.
- Monitor wage earnings by examining your statement from the Social Security Administration.
- Never give personal information through email, social media or text messaging and, unless you initiated the call, never give personal information over the phone.
ADOR reminds taxpayers the department will never:
- Use unsolicited email, text messages or any social media to discuss your personal tax issue.
- Call demanding immediate payment or about taxes owed without first having mailed out an official notice.
- Demand you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the stated amount owed.
- Require you to use a specific payment method to pay your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.
- Threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.
If a person gets a phone call from ADOR requesting additional information, you can contact the Department’s Customer Care Center, Local: (602) 255-3381, Toll-free: (800) 352-4090, to confirm the call was in fact from an ADOR official.
Arizonans can also contact the Department of Revenue’s Identity Theft Call Center at 602-716-6300, toll free: 1-800-352-4090, or https://azdor.gov/individual-income-tax-information/identity-theft.