Nearly six of every 10 taxpayers filed online in 2008, and it's no surprise that this number will increase for the 2009 tax season. According to the IRS, it is faster -- refunds are received in as little as 10 days; more accurate -- up to 20 times more accurate than filing paper returns; and often free -- approximately 70 percent of taxpayers can prepare and file electronically for free when they enter through IRS.gov and use Free File to locate participating commercial service providers. And with some easy tips, online filing is also safe.
VeriSign offers the following simple tips:
1. Be skeptical of emails that feature Web links. Those links can be part of a phishing scam that takes you to look-alike Web pages designed to steal your sensitive personal information, from Social Security Numbers to credit card account information. If you need to log-in, do so independently and through the usual log-in Web page -- not by clicking on a link. 2. When you go to file your taxes, make sure you've reached the correct site. One easy way is to look for the green address bar that is used today by leading tax filing sites. The green address bar, which is recommended by the IRS, is displayed on sites protected by EV SSL Certificates. Don't see the green address bar? Make sure you are using the latest version of your Web browser. 3. Make sure you're entering your personal information in a secured session by looking for https:// 4. When you finish your taxes, be sure you've logged out of your session. If you don't log out, fraudsters can potentially log-in to your session after you leave the site. 5. Do not respond to any tax issues or requests using fax. A recent email scam received by hundreds of taxpayers called for a fax with personal information to be sent back to "the IRS." The IRS will never request personal information via fax.
"It's important that consumers are continually educated about what they can do to protect their personal information online, especially around tax season," said Tim Callan, vice president of product marketing at VeriSign. "From 2002 to 2007, identity theft related to tax refund fraud rose by 396 percent, and it's no coincidence that the popularity of online tax filing also rose during this period. Consumers need to understand that the thing that stands between them and fraudsters is education, and we hope to aid in this education."
To protect the estimated 90 million taxpayers from phishing scams this filing season, the IRS issued a guideline to all online tax filing services to safeguard their sites with Extended Validation (EV) Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) Certificates. http://www.irs.gov/efile/article/0,,id=201195,00.html.
VeriSign, Inc. (
Statements in this announcement other than historical data and information constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. These statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause VeriSign's actual results to differ materially from those stated or implied by such forward-looking statements. The potential risks and uncertainties include, among others, the uncertainty of future revenue and profitability and potential fluctuations in quarterly operating results due to such factors as the inability of VeriSign to successfully develop and market new products and services and customer acceptance of any new products or services, including VeriSign EV SSL solutions; the possibility that VeriSign's announced new services may not result in additional customers, profits or revenues; and increased competition and pricing pressures. More information about potential factors that could affect the company's business and financial results is included in VeriSign's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including in the company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2008 and quarterly reports on Form 10-Q. VeriSign undertakes no obligation to update any of the forward-looking statements after the date of this press release.
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