1. Credit card companies are no longer requiring a signature on purchases
At the end of April, large credit card issuers such as, American Express, Discover, Mastercard and Visa, will no longer require customer signatures to complete credit card purchases. Nevertheless, retailers may continue asking you to sign. We can expect that the handwritten signature for credit card purchases will become less and less frequent!
2. High alert about tax scams due to the large data breaches in the past year
Tomorrow is tax day and a high alert has been issued for tax scams and identity theft. This alert is due to the many data breaches that have occurred over the past twelve months. The Ohio AG’s office issued a warning on April 3rd about increasing rates of three types of scammers. According to the AG’s office, the most frequently reported scammers this year are the IRS impostor scammers, who call to tell people that they owe taxes and ask for payment. Then there are the W-2 phishing scammers who use email to request people’s W-2s, and finally there are tax identity thieves who submit a tax return under other persons’ names to obtain their tax refunds.
To safeguard our personal data, the Ohio AG’s office recommends that we alert consumers to not respond to robocalls, not use gift cards to pay for taxes (a favorite among IRS impostor scammers), protect their personal information, carefully research tax preparer, and not respond to emails that ask for personal information.
Due to the changes to the tax law, the IRS highly recommends that we remind consumers to check the withholdings of their paychecks after they have filed their taxes. The IRS Tax Tip of March 28 provided step-by-step instructions for using the IRS Withholding Calculator. To use this calculator, a person needs his/her last paystub and 2017 tax return. This convenient tool will calculate the 2018 tax liability, make recommendations for whether one should change withholdings, and if yes, provide a link to the IRS Form W-4 for making these changes, as well. It is a very handy tool to avoid a large tax payment next year!