FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 19, 2015
Mary Ann Dunwell, Public Information Officer, MT Dept. of Revenue
(406) 444-6700, Mdunwell@mt.gov
Molly A. Petersen, Public Information Specialist, MT Dept. of Revenue
(406) 444-4331, Mollypetersen@mt.gov
Montana Department of Revenue joins IRS awareness campaign against identity theft & tax fraud
HELENA – The Montana Department of Revenue supports the Internal Revenue Service and other states and associations in appealing to the public to take online security precautions. Several agencies launched the public awareness campaign “Taxes, security, together” at news conference Thursday morning in Washington, D.C.
“Our message is we need the public’s help. As a taxpayer, you need to be aware of security steps you can take online and at home to protect your personal and financial data from cybercriminals and tax fraudsters,” said Mike Kadas, Director, Montana Department of Revenue. “The department is doing all we can to prevent Montana taxpayers from becoming victims. We need people to be careful as well. We all have a role to play.”
A few steps you can take to better protect yourself:
- Always use security software with firewall and anti-virus protections. Make sure the security software is turned on and automatically updates. Encrypt sensitive files such as tax records you store on your computer. Use strong passwords.
- Learn to recognize and avoid phishing emails, threatening calls and texts from thieves posing as legitimate organizations such as your bank, credit card company and even the IRS. Do not click on links or download attachments from unknown or suspicious emails.
- Protect your personal data. Don’t routinely carry your social security card. Make sure your tax records are secure. Treat your personal information like you do your cash. Don’t leave it lying around.
In 2015, Montana’s revenue department stopped more than 1,700 fraudulent tax returns and saved taxpayers nearly $1.9 million in fraudulent refunds. In 2014, the department prevented 1,250 fraudulent tax returns and nearly $1.5 million in fraudulent refunds.
For more information on protecting your data, visit the IRS security webpage www.irs.gov/taxessecuritytogether, the Montana Department of Justice Office of Consumer Protection at https://dojmt.gov/consumer or the Montana Department of Revenue at revenue.mt.gov.