The Federal Trade Commission has named January  13-17, 2014, Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week. The FTC will host national and regional events designed to raise awareness about tax identity theft and provide consumers with tips on how to protect themselves, and what to do if they become victims.

In San Diego: San Diego Forum on Tax Identity Theft 

Accounting for more than 43 percent of the Commission’s identity theft complaints in 2012, tax identity theft was the largest category of identity theft complaints by a substantial margin. In addition, the percentage of tax ID theft complaints nearly doubled, from just over 24 percent in 2011.

“Tax identity theft is a significant and growing issue,” said Jessica Rich, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “It’s critical that we make sure consumers are aware of how they can prevent it, and if they are victimized, what steps they can take to recover as quickly as possible.”

Events planned for the week include webinars led by FTC staff in both English and Spanish, a bilingual Twitter chat hosted by @FTC and @laFTC, and a series of regional events hosted by the FTC throughout the country with a focus on states with the highest number of tax identity theft complaints.

In addition to the FTC-hosted events, the FTC has created an array of materials for use by local and state law enforcement agencies, consumer advocates and others in creating events of their own or providing information to consumers on how to prevent, recognize and respond to tax id theft.

A schedule of events is available on the Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week webpage, along with links to planning materials and helpful information for consumers.

The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them.  To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC’s online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357).  The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 2,000 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.

 

 

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