With the Holiday Season upon you, you may notice mailings, e-mail, and ads online and in the newspapers and circulars perhaps a little more than usual for small loans so you can get extra cash to make the Holidays warmer and much brighter.
With ads for loans you may notice an increase of ads for tax preparers & “tax services.” Some businesses combine both loan and tax preparation.
During the rush to get Holiday Shopping done and the rush to do taxes it’s important to go with a company you can trust or go with an individual in the company you can trust. It’s important to do this in order to protect yourself from identity theft, which may occur from obtaining a Social Security Number that is needed for a loan or to do taxes.
While it might seem harmless to do a loan application over the phone it leaves personal information open for unwanted reception by others through the air waves. People you wouldn’t want to have your personal information. Cell phones may pose more of a threat but line phones can be just as bad. If there are several line phones in the house someone visiting may pick up another phone and listen in or someone somewhere else may be able to hear the conversation. “Party lines” on line phones used to make it very simple for someone else to listen in.
If you can, apply for small loans in person or online with protected sites.
Be leery of dropping off your Social Security Number with tax preparers & services unless you trust them. You don’t know where or how long your Social Security Number will be out in plain view for anyone to see or if it will be discretely locked away.
If you have to leave your Social Security Number with a tax preparer or a “tax service” go ahead and ask where they will be keeping your personal information until they are able to do your taxes. If you don’t like where they will be putting your personal information ask if they have another place they can keep them. If they don’t have a safer place you may choose to take your taxes to someone else or you may be able to wait if the preparer can get to it fairly soon.
If possible you can ask the tax preparer if you can fill in your Social Security Number instead of giving it to them. If the tax preparer does your taxes and you are the one filing it you should be able to fill in your Social Security Number yourself. If they are the ones filing it they might let you type the number on the computer if its being sent in electronically or let you fill it in on the paper if its being sent by mail.