HomePersonal FinanceTwo Important Ways to Keep Your Tax Refund Out of the Hands...

Two Important Ways to Keep Your Tax Refund Out of the Hands of Criminals

Tax season is right around the corner. The months from February to April must be a crook’s favorite time of the year because there is so much money flowing in the form of tax returns.

Every year, the media warns us of the newest tax refund scams. However, just as soon as the public learns of the scam, criminals seem to come up with a new one.

While you can’t protect yourself completely, there are steps you can take to make sure that your tax refund stays in your hands and your hands alone.

Use a Prepaid Visa for Zero Liability Protection

One way is to have your refund put on a Visa Prepaid card. Doing so protects your money because just like a traditional credit card, money on your Visa Prepaid is protected. Thanks to Visa’s zero liability policy, if your card is lost or stolen, you will still have your money.

If you would like your refund applied to your Visa Prepaid card, just make sure to go to your tax preparer’s office with both your account number and routing number that your Visa Prepaid card is linked to.

As a friendly reminder, Visa Prepaid has set up a Facebook page with a Know Your Numbers instant win game. You can play to win a $15 Visa Gift card or a tablet PC. Plus, each time you play, you are entered to win the grand prize of a $2,000 Visa Gift card.

File Your Tax Refund As Soon as Possible

Last year, a popular technique thieves used to get tax refunds was to file a tax refund as the person so the thieves got the refund. Then, when the real person filed their taxes, he was not able to get his refund and had to work through red tape.
Unfortunately, all thieves need to do this is your name, address, and social security number. Then they have the money automatically deposited in their account.

The best way to avoid this scenario is to file your taxes as soon as possible, before thieves have a chance to file as you. If you can file in late January or early February, you reduce the chances of this happening to you.

That means if you haven’t done so, take the time now to get your paperwork ready to take to the accountant. Check online records for employer W-2s and year end bank statements as well as other information you need so you can file as soon as possible.

What steps do you take to protect yourself and your tax refund, if you are getting one?

I am blogging on behalf of Visa Prepaid and received compensation for my time from Visa for sharing my views in this post, but the views expressed here are solely mine, not Visa’s. Discover more at or join the Visa Prepaid community at


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