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APRIL 17: The Day To Discard Unwanted Documents Post-Tax Season

BBB's Secure Your ID Day Helps Tax Payers Free Themselves of ID Theft Worries

Anchorage, Alaska – April 6, 2010 – As April 15 marks the closing of tax season, Better Business Bureau's National Secure Your ID Day offers businesses and consumers a chance to shred unwanted documents for free on April 17.

"Having unsecured documents lying around is an open invitation to identity thieves," said Robert W.G. Andrew, CEO of BBB serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington. "When it is post-tax season, spring cleaning time, or the junk mail is piling up, shredding documents is your best protection."

Tax payers don't have to be vulnerable to thieves who steal mail, rifle through trash, break into property and phish for information through e-mails.

Tax Scam Avoidance Tips: There are many variations of tax-related scams involving phishing e-mails, fraudulent phone calls, and phony tax preparers with unwarranted tax return promises and filing schemes.

§ The Internal Revenue Service does not request detailed personal financial information, credit card numbers, PIN codes or account passwords from taxpayers via unsolicited e-mails. If you receive a suspicious e-mail from someone claiming to be an IRS representative, do not reply and do not click any links or open attachments. Instead, forward the message to phishing@irs.gov.

§ Carefully research tax professionals to verify proper certification and a good track record with BBB. Be cautious of tax preparers who base their fee on a percentage of your refund, guarantee larger refunds than other preparers, and falsify tax documents—ultimately, the taxpayer will be legally responsible for resulting fees and penalties.

§ Report fraudulent misconduct by IRS employees, IRS impersonators, and tax practitioners to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.

Document Destruction Tips: Unwanted documents that contain financial data, account numbers, PINs, birth dates or Social Security numbers—including: expired ID cards, junk mail, health forms, old W-2s, credit card and bank statements, cancelled checks and carbon copies—should be shredded. Save vital paperwork in a hidden locked box or safe. Click here for a records retention schedule.

Free Document Shredding at BBB's Secure Your ID Day: Drive up and drop off 3 bags/boxes of paper to be securely shredded by Shred Alaska.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Lyberger's Car and Truck Sales, 9530 Old Seward Highway, Anchorage

www.akorww.bbb.org/secure-your-id

For more identity theft prevention tips, click here. Check with your BBB for additional business tax resources.

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