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Identity Theft

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Beware of Internet Scams from the "IRS"

If you receive anything about a financial topic that is unsolicited, be extremely cautious. This includes email and written notices

Over the past few years, scam artists have become more creative and nefarious. There are many that claim to be from a government organization, and are telling you that you absolutely need to click on a link, or open a "PDF", to solve your problem.

At best, the link tries to sell you something, at worst your computer is compromised with a virus.

Here is the quote direct from the IRS:

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The IRS Security Breach - How to Protect Yourself

IRS Security Breach

"The IRS announced today it will be notifying taxpayers after third parties gained unauthorized access to information on about 100,000 accounts through the “Get Transcript” online application.

The IRS determined late last week that unusual activity had taken place on the application, which indicates that unauthorized third parties had access to some accounts on the transcript application. Following an initial review, it appears that access was gained to more than 100,000 accounts through the Get Transcript application." - https://www.irs.gov/uac/Newsroom/IRS-Statement-on-the-Get-Transcript-Application<

Soon, some will receive notification from the IRS that their personal information was compromised. This follows announcements from multiple retailers that they too mishandled private data <that should never have been made public. With ubiquitous weak points in security, and intelligent criminals with a financial incentive, what can ones do to protect themselves, and what can small businesses do to protect their clients?

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