Be wary of identity fraud this tax season
University administrators are advising faculty and staff to be on the lookout for potential identity fraud as tax season gets underway.
2017 was a record year for corporate data breaches that exposed the personal and financial information of millions of people. While universities can be targets for criminals, no such data breaches have been detected at U-M. However, this doesn’t mean that faculty and staff have not been affected by the growing problem of data security and identity theft.
Tax season is a time to be aware of phishing and telephone scams while closely monitoring credit reports.
Anyone who suspects they may be a victim of identity theft should immediately take the following steps:
- Alert the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit by calling 800-908-4490 or through the IRS website, and complete the Identity Theft Affidavit.
- Alert the Michigan Department of Treasury by calling 517-636-4486, emailing Treasury-ReportIDTheft@michigan.gov, or by regular mail to Identity Theft Unit, Income Tax Division, P.O. Box 30477, Lansing, MI 48909.
- Freeze credit report files with all three credit bureaus to prevent accounts being opened in your name. Those credit bureaus and their phone numbers are: Equifax, 800-525-6285; Experian, 888-397-3742; and TransUnion, 800-680-7289.
- File a report with the local police department.
VIsit the Safe Computing website for more information and tips on protecting your identity.