Don’t Give Identity Thieves Your Information During Tax Season

Don’t Give Identity Thieves Your Information During Tax Season

clear plastic bag holding shredded paper

Take time to shred personal documents.

Voiced by Amazon Polly
clear plastic bag holding shredded paper

Take time to shred personal documents.

As Tax Day approaches Cincinnatians are shifting through info to file.  Now is the time for sorting “stuff” for 2023 taxes.

Paperwork, including closing documents if you bought or sold a home in 2023, is stacked, sorted, and sifted to get all the info you need to fill out various tax forms.  

If you’re like most people, while sorting through the stacks, you start tossing unneeded documents into the trash. Nothing obvious like SS# or account numbers. And when bits and pieces of confidential information end up in your trash the opportunity for identity theft begins.

According to the Federal Trade Commission’s Consumers Bureau, one of the most important things to do is shred personal documents.  

This includes shredding receipts, credit card applications and offers, insurance forms, medical information, checks, bank statements, expired charge cards, investment statements, and similar documents when you no longer need them.  

Don’t own a shredder?  

Greater Cincinnati offers several locations where you can shred documents containing private information for a small fee or watch for local shredding events sponsored by local businesses. Years ago I dumped documents from my parent’s estate and lucked out with a local business trash event close to home.   Drove in and the volunteers emptied my trunk and I drove off as the paper hit the shredder in the back of the truck.

 Some organizations hold shredding days as a fundraiser and for a small donation, your documents are no longer a target for identity thieves.


And while you’re protecting your identity by shredding paper documents don’t forget to protect your online identity too.  

Many real estate companies have started using secure “platforms” to hold client’s personal information and provide buyers and sellers with secure access via portals. The systems are sometimes difficult to navigate-but security is far better for all the parties involved in a real estate deal if the data is not just sent via email attachments. 

And please follow your Title Company’s and Realtor’s® directions regarding wiring money for closings.  Too many people are getting scammed at the end because the “assume” email is from the actual party involved in the transaction.  Keep your agent’s and title company’s phone numbers on speed dial so you can contact them to verify any wiring information.

Protecting Identity Resource