How to Help Protect Your Identity During Tax Season

Do you know that sensitive tax information can be bought on the dark web?

January 21, 2021


by IdentityIQ Staff

Recent research into various marketplaces on the dark web has shown that sensitive documents such as W-2s, 1040s and how-to-guides for committing tax fraud are available for low prices, ranging from $1.04 to $52 per record. Names, Social Security numbers (SSNs) and birthdates can be obtained for prices ranging anywhere between $0.19 to $62.

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How is this possible?

In the last 15 years, there have been 1.7 billion records exposed in data breaches. Some notable examples include the Capital One breach that involved the leak of 100 million customers’ full names, birthdates, addresses and Social Security numbers (SSNs) and the hack on the health insurance provider Anthem Inc. that compromised more than 37.5 million records that also included SSNs.

Data Breaches 2005 - 2019. Sources: Statista.

Unfortunately, the list of data breaches goes on and on. This means, statistically speaking, more than half of the U.S. population has had their private information exposed in a data breach.

Why does this matter?

With so much sensitive information easily accessible, identity theft-related fraud has become a growing problem. According to recent Federal Trade Commission reports, there have been a record breaking 3.2 million cases involving fraud, identity theft, and other related problems in one year, resulting in losses of $1.9 billion.

Help protect yourself from identity theft risks

One of the best ways to help protect yourself from financial losses related to data breaches and identity theft is to have a safety net in place. Solutions like identity theft insurance, credit monitoring, anti-malware software and password managers are designed to help you protect your information, privacy and your finances from unforeseen losses. Want to learn more?

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