Taxpayer Guide to Tax-related Identity Theft as Deadline Approaches
The Bureau of Internal Revenue’s tax deadline is on April 15, 2018, and Black Hat Hackers targeted taxpayers by using social engineering scams to attempt to steal Personal Identifiable Information (PII). Taxpayers may reduce their risks by reviewing the following recommendation:
- Avoid tax scams by looking for the telltale signs:
- Emails that appear to come from your HR department, requesting information for a BIR form
- Do not click on links posing as legitimate BIR’s website nor download attachments like bogus questionnaires from unknown or suspicious emails. (Official Website of BIR is https://www.bir.gov.ph/)
- Learn to recognize and avoid Voice Phishing from online thieves posing as legitimate organizations such as your bank, credit card companies and even the BIR.
2. Safeguard your personal data.
Read National Privacy Commission’s 30 Ways to Love Yourself Online. https://privacy.gov.ph/30-ways/
3. Use strong passwords.
Read our previous article on Manila Bulletin about Passwords. https://technology.mb.com.ph/2017/12/22/the-trouble-with-strong-passwords/
4. Always use security software with firewall and anti-virus protections.
5. Always update your operating system and all software installed on your computer.
Steps to take if you become a victim
If you are a victim of identity theft, Secuna recommends these steps:
- Visit the BIR’s eComplaint Page (https://www.bir.gov.ph/index.php/eservices/ecomplaint-home.html) and or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Contact your financial institutions, HR Department, and close any financial or credit accounts opened without your authorization or tampered with by identity thieves.