Yes, even the IRS can be hacked! Or why does a site need my dog’s name?

I’m sure some of you have seen news stories recently about the hack of one of the IRS sites. The site: “Get Transcript” where taxpayers or their preparers can go to get a copy of their previously filed return if neither has one available, was used by criminals this February to access the information of about 200,000 taxpayers.

This application has been shut down for the near term, until fixes have been made. In the meantime, IRS is notifying those affected BY MAIL. They will be offered credit monitoring services. The government believes only 100,000 accounts were actually accessed, the others were simply attempts.

The letters sent by IRS will NOT ask for personal identification from taxpayers. And remember, IRS will not ask for personal identification by phone either. There is a good reason for questions on websites such as the name of a dog or car payments. These are questions not easily answered by hackers. So they provide a second layer of security for your accounts. They may seem annoying at times, but they are less annoying than having your identity stolen.

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