Beware of Income Tax Fraud in the New Year

January 6, 2017

Each new year brings many new challenges and opportunities. Unfortunately, increased cyber security threats are among the challenges. January is the beginning of income tax season, and every year brings new schemes to defraud you and your family. The IRS publishes information to help you identify and avoid tax fraud and identity theft at https://www.irs.gov/uac/taxpayer-guide-to-identity-theft

At the UC, your At Your Service Online (https://atyourserviceonline.ucop.edu/ayso/) account is a high value target for cyber-attacks. It is an access point to your benefits, income, retirement, and direct deposit information, all of which can be used for identity theft and tax fraud. You must protect this account as vigilantly as possible.

Follow these tips to help prevent becoming a victim of identity theft and tax fraud.
1) Use strong passwords: longer passwords are better. Include numbers and special characters.
2) Use a different password for each account you have. This is especially important for your AYSO account.
3) Keep your computer and antivirus software up-to-date.
4) Beware of phishing schemes that ask you to click a link or open an attachment. Beware of anything that warns you to take action right away.
5) Check your credit card and bank statements regularly. Criminals use the holidays to hide fraudulent charges and identity theft.
6) Be aware of your role in protecting your personal information. New cybersecurity awareness training will be announced later this month.

If you become a victim of identity theft, the California Attorney General has published information at https://oag.ca.gov/idtheft.