Monitor Identify Theft with CyberScout – a Free Farm Bureau® Insurance Benefit for Auto Policy Holders
Few people enjoy tax season, but it can be extra stressful if you receive a notice from the IRS that more than one tax return was filed using your social security number. This is often how people discover that they have been the victim of tax fraud and identity theft.
Other red flags include:
- IRS notification that you received wages from an employer you don’t recognize, which indicates that someone else may be working under your social security number.
- IRS notification that you owe taxes for a year you did not file a return.
- Your e-filed tax form is rejected because someone has already filed using your social security number.
Being a victim of tax fraud may delay your tax refund. Since your personal information has been compromised, you may be more vulnerable to other identity theft, like bank account fraud.
Farm Bureau Insurance offers a free identity-theft education and resolution program, CyberScout, to all auto insurance policyholders. CyberScout will pair you with a specialist to help you recover and secure your personal information.
About Tax-Related Identity Fraud
What is Identity Theft?
Identity theft is when someone uses your personal information, without your permission, to commit a crime. Most commonly, identity thieves attempt to obtain credit in their victims’ names. During tax season, many identity thieves use their victims’ personal information to fraudulently collect tax refunds.
What Should I Do if I’m a Victim of Tax Fraud?
Report the suspected fraud to the IRS and the Federal Trade Commission immediately, even if you haven’t received a red-flag notice from the IRS.
If the IRS notified you of a problem, call the number in the notification within 30 days to verify your identity. Have the notification and your tax returns from last year on hand when you call. They will ask you for information from these documents to verify your identity.
If they cannot verify your identity over the phone, you will make an in-person visit to a nearby Taxpayer Assistance Center. You should bring a government-issued photo ID, the IRS notification, and a copy of your most current tax return.
Victims of any type of identity fraud should:
- Notify their banks and financial institutions
- Change credit card numbers
- Change passwords to email, social media, and online shopping accounts.
- Keep a close eye on your credit report for at least a year following the fraud.
I Suspect Tax Fraud but Didn’t Receive an IRS Notification. What Do I Do?
If the IRS rejects your e-file, file your return by mail. Go ahead and pay any taxes you owe, even if they are being collected on wages from an employer you do not recognize.
Print and complete Form 14039, and send it in with your paper tax return. The IRS Identity Theft Victim Assistance program will review your case. Once they close the case, you will receive your refund.
Things To Know About the IRS
The IRS will only contact you by mail, phone, or in-person. If you receive an email, text, or social media message from someone claiming to be the IRS, do not open it or respond. Opening it or clicking on a link could allow hackers to upload malware on your computer or personal device. If you get an email from a source claiming to the IRS, forward it to email@example.com.
The IRS will never threaten arrests or lawsuits over the phone, accept payment over the phone, or ask you for a credit card number or money transfer.
How Do I Protect Myself Against Fraud?
USA.gov has tips on how to protect yourself against identity theft and fraud.
Recover From Identity Theft with CyberScout
Farm Bureau Insurance offers a free identity-theft education and resolution program, CyberScout, to all auto insurance policyholders.
If you are a victim of tax fraud or any other identity fraud, CyberScout will pair you with a specialist who can help you prepare a police report and other resolution documents. This specialist will guide you step-by-step, as you recover and secure your personal information. You can call this specialist as many times as you need to, with no charge.
What Does Cyberscout Include?
Cyberscout includes a number of identity theft and monitoring services. They will:
- Notify credit bureaus, creditors, and government agencies of the fraud you have experienced.
- Provide a year of public record database and credit monitoring for identity theft victims.
- Assist you in replacing social security cards and other lost or stolen documents.
Contact a Farm Bureau Insurance Agent
Interested in our free CyberScout service? Talk to a local agent about switching your auto insurance to Farm Bureau Insurance.
Our Auto insurance is a product of Southern Farm Bureau® Casualty Insurance Company.