Take action now to prevent someone from stealing your tax refund


It is alarming: The Equifax data breach may have exposed more than half the adults in this country to identity theft and financial fraud.
Names, Social Security numbers, birth dates and other information including some credit card numbers were stolen from the company’s data system. This is one of the estimated 1,500 data breaches in 2017, but perhaps the worst in terms of potential financial consequences to individuals. We should all be on high alert.
Credit alerts and freezes will not prevent noncredit frauds such as tax refund theft. Fraudsters in possession of a valid name and Social Security number frequently create phony W-2s and related forms in search of a quick refund. The best way to prevent tax fraud is to file your federal and state income tax return as early as possible.
In 2015, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) reported were over 1.5 million bogus tax returns filed claiming over $5 billion in refunds. However, some fraudulent returns do go through each year undetected.
Contact the IRS immediately at http://www.irs.gov/identitytheft or by phone at (800) 908-4490 if the agency sends you a notice saying its records show you were paid by an employer you don’t know or more than one tax return was filed using your Social Security number.
If you believe that a fraudulent tax return was filed using your information, complete and send a copy of the IRS ID Theft Affidavit Form 14039 and proof of your identity, such as a copy of your Social Security card, driver’s license or passport.
Then, update your files. Record the dates you made calls or sent letters. Keep copies of letters in your files. If your Social Security number is used fraudulently, notify the Social Security Administration Fraud Hotline at (800) 269-0271. Request your Social Security Earnings Report. Follow up with both agencies to make sure the fraudulent actions are corrected. Request written confirmation by letter or email.
Identity theft and fraudulent actions have negative impacts on your personal credit history, your peace of mind, your health and your financial future. Don’t put it off. Protect yourself today by getting ready to file your federal and state income taxes as soon as possible. Don’t wait until the April 15 deadline.
CPR and first aid classes
CPR and first aid certification classes are now being offered monthly by the Colorado State University (CSU) Extension office on the second Monday and Wednesday of each month from 6 to 10 pm. Anyone needing to receive or renew certification can register by calling the Extension office at 264-5931.
We will also attempt to schedule classes on additional dates with five or more registrations. Cost for the classes is $80 for combined CPR/first aid and $55 for CPR, first aid or recertification. The type of first aid information provided will vary by the needs of the audience.
More about
CSU Extension
CSU Extension is your local university community connection for research-based information about natural resource management; living well through raising kids, eating right and spending smart; gardening and commercial horticulture; the latest agricultural production technologies; and community development.
Extension 4-H and youth development programs reach more than 100,000 young people annually.
CSU Extension programs are available to all without discrimination.