Quite often, the first indication you are a victim of identity theft is when you file a tax return only to find out a return has already filed under your name. Another common scenario is when you hear of a business (or the government) being hacked. Of course, you were a customer of the business, and the company’s records held your personal information.
At this point, you are faced with the question: What should I do? This is where I found myself last spring, as a former federal employee, after the federal government was hacked.
Unfortunately, once a thief has your information, you have to assume that the risk of it being used will never go away. When you find yourself in this situation, you have several options:
Each year as tax season draws near, there’s an uptick in phishing scams. Far too many American citizens fall victim to these malicious scams, which take advantage of taxpayers working on their 2015 returns. While it is important to remain vigilant throughout the year, the next five months are of particular importance for both businesses and individuals.
If you have a college student or high-school senior, you need to be aware of some big changes to the rules for filing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Your 2015 income will have double the impact on college aid packages since President Obama signed an Executive Order on September 14, 2015, effectively changing the method of using prior year income to a new prior-prior year method.
This new method will make it easier for most families to fill out the FAFSA and get the appropriate information to their choice colleges so that financial aid packages can be determined.