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The IRS security breach…were you a victim?

In this new technology age, people store most of their information digitally, including tax accounting data. Even though security measures constantly evolve, cyber criminals still find ways to hack into our information. Case in point: the IRS.

Since February, 200,000 attempts occurred to access sensitive taxpayer information by criminals through the IRS’ “Get Transcript” application! Of these attempts, approximately 100,000 taxpayers fell victim to third-party hackers who looted their information including Social Security number, birth date and street address.

This security breach is being investigated by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration and the Criminal Investigation Unit.

In addition, the IRS sent letters to notify the 200,000 taxpayers whose accounts experienced attempted unauthorized access. In these letters, the IRS told the affected taxpayers a third party gained access to their information from non-IRS sources prior to trying to access the transcript application.

The IRS will also offer free credit monitoring services to the 100,000 victims and the letters will not request any additional identification information from the taxpayers.

The IRS believes criminals tried to access transcripts to use that information for identity theft next year. IRS core taxpayer accounts and other applications are not involved in this security breach.

If you’re interested in learning how to safely store your taxpayer information to minimize identity theft risk, contact the certified public accountants at Patrick & Robinson CPAs for tips: Office@CPAsite.com or (904) 396-5400.

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