What to Shred and When

April showers? With spring cleaning and the end of tax-filing season, what really “reigns” this month are free shredding events held across the country — including dozens hosted by our Fraud Watch Network and AARP Foundation — to safely destroy unneeded paperwork that could help crooks steal your identity. Granted, shredding shouldn’t be your sole defense. ID theft is more likely to result from data breaches, computer malware, a lost or stolen wallet and other devious methods, including thieves buying sensitive …

Why Taxpayers Should Worry About Identity Theft

A month-long window of opportunity has opened up for scammers, and its timing is crucial for honest taxpayers. Here’s why: Identity theft. Documents that you need in order to file your 2015 tax returns should start arriving soon in your mailbox. Employers are required to mail W-2 and 1099 forms by Jan. 31; banks and brokerage firms may have later deadlines. With your Social Security number and other sensitive information, this paperwork provides identity thieves with enough details to open …

Spring Clean Your Identity Theft Risks

Spring cleaning should include more than decluttering your garage and closets. Take these simple steps to reduce your risks of identity theft: Shred — don’t just trash — unnecessary documents with your name, birth date, address, and account or Social Security numbers. Typically, bank deposit slips and ATM and credit card receipts should be shredded as soon as the transactions appear on statements, credit card statements within 45 days, and pay stubs and medical bills after one year. Never simply discard …

Need Cash? IRS Has $1 Billion in Unclaimed Refunds

Here’s a time you want to hear from the IRS. The agency has $1 billion in unclaimed refunds belonging to about 1 million people who didn’t file a 2011 tax return. The IRS holds the money for three years, after which it goes to the Treasury Department. Time is running out for 2011 refunds to be recovered by taxpayers. “Some people may not have filed because they didn’t make much money, but they may still be entitled to a refund,” IRS Commissioner John …

4 Ways to Avoid the Casey Kasem Nightmare

(Updated June 16) A judge in Los Angeles ruled June 11 that Casey Kasem‘s daughter could stop feeding and hydrating the 82-year-old radio legend and allow him to die. The order came after many months of legal battles over who had the right to visit and care for Kasem, who had a form of progressively debilitating dementia. Kasem died on June 15 in Gig Harbor, Wash. See also: Casey Kasem: America’s DJ Did the tumultuous family feud swirling around Kasem make you think …

iPad + Microsoft Office = ?

Office for iPad is here, including Word and Excel and PowerPoint, the applications so many of us have grown up with at work. Is this the set of applications that will change how you use your iPad? Cost. You can download the applications separately, and they’re free. Sort of. They’ll let you open and read documents and spreadsheets and presentations. But you can’t edit or create documents unless you fork over $99 a year for a subscription to Microsoft’s Office 365 – or pay as …