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NCUA Posts New Online Resources to Help Consumers Fight Identity Theft
Wednesday, January 27, 2016 6:45 AM

With tax season beginning, the National Credit Union Administration has new online resources to help consumers protect themselves. NCUA has updated its tax identity theft resources page on the MyCreditUnion.gov consumer website.

The page includes useful information for preventing or reporting identity theft that may be perpetrated using fake contacts that appear to be legitimate IRS requests for taxpayer information. Credit unions are encouraged to share this information with their members.

The U.S. Department of Justice reports that, in 2014, 17.6 million Americans were victims of identity theft with estimated losses of $15.4 billion. Tax season is a particularly busy time for identity thieves, and the IRS itself can be a target. IRS paid about $5.8 billion in fraudulent tax refunds in 2013 while preventing about $24 billion in cases in which it was able to detect and prevent fraud.

MyCreditUnion.gov also has numerous resource pages with information to help credit union members understand and prevent identity theft and protect themselves from other frauds and scams. NCUA also has videos describing how to fight against fraud on its YouTube channel.

Consumers should be aware the IRS does not initiate contacts with taxpayers by email, text messages or social media channels to request personal or financial information.