Empower Your Teen for a Healthier Future

Teen STDDid you know that about one in four teens has a sexually transmitted disease (STD)? If left untreated, STDs can lead to pretty serious lifelong problems, including infertility.

Every parent wants his or her child to be healthy. While educating teens about STDs can be a sensitive and challenging task, providing your teen with information and resources about STD prevention is one step towards a healthier future.

With an overwhelming amount of questionable information available to your teen online, we recognize finding reliable information about STDs is difficult. That is one of many reasons that led the Office on Women’s Health (OWH) to develop Know The Facts First with the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors and the National Coalition of STD Directors.

Know The Facts First, a national public health awareness campaign, is aimed at providing teen girls, ages 13-19, with accurate information about STDs and STD prevention so that they can make informed decisions about sexual health. The campaign’s website, KnowTheFactsFirst.gov, offers a single place for teens to get straightforward information about STDs and how to protect themselves.

The campaign focuses on girls because their bodies are biologically more susceptible to STDs and they experience more damaging effects from undiagnosed and untreated STDs (e.g., chronic pelvic pain, ectopic pregnancy, infertility, cervical cancer, and more). However, the campaign is also relevant to teen boys who face the same kinds of questions, worries, and pressures about sex as teen girls.

Through the campaign, teens will see print and video public service announcements and advertisements in malls, magazines, schools, movie theaters and on television and online. Partner organizations also will help disseminate messages directly to teens and adults who work with teens.

When you are ready to discuss sexual health with your teen, the campaign offers easy-to-understand information about STDs, how to prevent STDs and where to get tested. No more deciphering what is really true—you and your teen can learn the facts together. This resource can help teens ask the right questions, engage in informed conversations and in return, have healthier relationships.


This blog post was submitted on behalf of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health.

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Team Up and Fundraise the Healthy Way

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(Sponsored Post)

“Finally! A school fundraiser that doesn’t involve selling sweets and treats.” This is a common refrain we hear from parents who are tired of the same old fundraiser  that promote unhealthy habits. Fortunately, now there’s a new way to raise more money for your school in a positive, active and healthy way.

Active Schools Fundraising is a new tool to help PTAs, school groups and booster clubs raise money online in support of a physical activity event. Whether it’s a walk-a-thon, fun run or other active event, you can use the online platform to invite team members and ask your friends and family for pledges of support.

With Active Schools Fundraising, your school or PTA group keeps 75% of all funds raised online and 100% of onsite fees, such as registrations or giveaways. There are no start-up fees or costs, so the up-front investment is minimal. That means more money going directly to support your school or PTA.

Interested in starting a run club? This spring, we’ve teamed up with Marathon Kids to offer an additional incentive to choose active fundraising for your next school fundraiser. Here’s how it works: If you register with Active Schools Fundraising by April 1 and raise at least $500 for a 25 member run club, you’ll be entered in a drawing for one of 150 sets of 10 Marathon Kids participant spots. Marathon Kids helps get kids excited about running by providing them with the tools, motivation and support to be active through run clubs.

It’s that easy. Active Schools Fundraising + Marathon Kids run club = a winning spring fundraiser!

Whether you use Active Schools Fundraising for a Marathon Kids run club or another active fundraiser, here are a few more helpful tips about Active Schools Fundraising:

  • For the spring fundraising season, the deadline to register a team is April 1, and you can hold your fundraiser anytime through May 30.
  • Once you create a team, you can customize your team page and add your own messages and photos, or use the messaging that we provide.
  • You can take advantage of special product discounts on equipment, curriculum and programs that improve wellness in your school—offered only to Active Schools Fundraising participants.

Ready to get started? Visit ActiveSchoolsFundraising.org to register a team today and get your chance to win Marathon Kids participant spots!

 Sample Social Media Messaging to Share with PTA Local Leaders

Twitter

Active Schools Fundraising + Marathon Kids run club = a winning spring fundraiser! Learn more: http://bit.ly/1YCYtwL

Facebook

Raise money for your PTA the healthy way this spring with Active Schools Fundraising. Bonus: 75% of the funds raised go directly to your school! Register by April 1 and fundraise by May 30: http://bit.ly/1YCYtwL

 

 

Top 10 Mistakes to Avoid in Communicating with Your PTA

shutterstock_216261145Effective communication is essential to driving PTA member engagement. Yet all too often, we see PTA leaders make several crucial mistakes. Here are 10 of the most common communication pitfalls and how you can avoid them with your PTA.

  1. Communicating with your PTA members only when you need money. Yes, school fundraising is important. But your PTA members want to know about other things as well, such as school events, PTA programs and volunteer opportunities. Sharing this information will give everyone a deeper connection to the school and to your PTA. That deeper connection will allow you to raise more money when you organize your next fundraiser.
  1. Communicating too much. If you find yourself hitting the “Send” button several times a day, you’re communicating too much. Few parents enjoy receiving multiple emails every day from their PTA leader. If you have a lot to say, try combining your requests and updates into a single email or newsletter. Parent portal platforms such as SimplyCircle allow you to consolidate all your communication into a single Daily Digest.
  1. Communicating at inconsistent frequency. One week you’re sending many emails per day. Then your members don’t hear from you for a month. Unless there’s a good reason for your silence (like a long school holiday), you should pick your communication frequency (daily, weekly or monthly) and stick with it. A good rule of thumb to keep in mind is this: the larger the group, the less frequently you should be communicating. Plus, knowing that your communications always come out on Mondays at 3 p.m. will “condition” your group members to open your emails. That translates into higher member engagement for you.
  1. Not being clear about what’s most important. When you put your most important request at the bottom of a 4-page long newsletter (and you should think twice about sending out a 4-page long newsletter in the first place), your critical call to action will more than likely never get seen. Instead, put your main request at the beginning. It should appear both in the subject line and at the top of your email or newsletter.
  1. Making it difficult to take action. The whole point of communication is to drive member engagement, right? So make it as easy as possible for members to engage. If you’re asking them to volunteer, let them sign up with one click. Don’t send them to a paper signup at the school office, or to a spreadsheet that half of the school can’t open. Parent portal platforms such as SimplyCircle integrate signups, event RSVPs and post commenting. When you make it simple for people to volunteer and otherwise engage, you’ll find more of them will do it.
  1. Starting a reply-all email mess. This one is a personal pet peeve of mine. I hate getting emails that ask people to bring food to an upcoming school event where everyone is on the “to” line. Within minutes, my inbox is flooded with “reply all” responses: “I will bring watermelons”. “I won’t be attending”. “What kind of cheese do people like?” Instead, use a platform like SimplyCircle. It allows people to sign up without the blow-by-blow commentary of who is doing what. If people are commenting on your posts, all the comments are summarized in one convenient Daily Digest. If you must communicate by regular email, then put everyone’s email addresses on the Bcc line.
  1. Not respecting people’s privacy. There’s another reason why you should put everyone on the Bcc line. It signals that you respect their privacy. I remember freaking out when I got an email from a non-profit organization I just joined, and saw my email address displayed on the “to” line. Needless to say, I severed my ties with that nonprofit in seconds. People are rightly paranoid about their privacy. So either move everyone to the “Bcc” line, or use a service like SimplyCircle. It hides email addresses, while still allowing everyone to communicate.
  1. Not providing easy opt-out or unsubscribe options. In 2003, Congress passed a law called CAN-SPAM. The law requires senders of commercial messages to let recipients unsubscribe from unwanted emails. While PTAs are not commercial entities that are bound by CAN-SPAM law, it is still a good idea to let people opt out. Here’s why. If you irritate people with frequent communications, and don’t let them get off your mailing list, they will mark your email as “spam”. Too many spam complaints will ruin your email deliverability. That means that all your emails will start landing in people’s spam folders. Needless to say, not being able to connect your PTA members is not effective for great outreach. So let people unsubscribe if they want to.
  1. Making typos or other mistakes in your communication. Spelling or grammatical errors make communication look unprofessional. Fortunately, these errors are easy to avoid. Just run a spelling and grammar check before sending something out. Also be sure to check your email for accuracy and completeness. You don’t want to have to contact a thousand people with an “oops, I got the date wrong” email. Remember, once you hit that “send” button, there’s no way to unring that bell. The email is out.
  1. Leaving some people out. Make sure your communications include everyone. For example, you should not limit your updates to just paying PTA members. Everybody needs to be informed about school and PTA events. In fact, if you keep parents in the loop and make them feel like part of the community, they might decide to join your PTA. If you have a large Hispanic population at your school, you should try to write in both English and Spanish. Using a free program like Google Translate is better than nothing. But you should be able to get translation help from someone at your school who speaks both languages.

If you avoid these 10 common communication mistakes, you will get higher member engagement.

Want to learn more about how you can simplify PTA member communication? Visit SimplyCircle.com.

Happy communicating!


Dr. Elena Krasnoperova is the Founder and CEO of SimplyCircle, a popular parent portal for PTAs, PTOs and other parent communities. She is a mother of two children in elementary school, and an active member of the PTA.

Sign the Testing Bill of Rights!

TestBetter-Promo1National PTA is pleased to join forces with the Center for American Progress (CAP), America Achieves and the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), among others in support of the Testing Bill of Rights to ensure assessments are fair, reliable, relevant and aligned to high-quality standards.

The Testing Bill of Rights outlines the need to accurately measure student learning in a way that is useful for parents and teachers and less burdensome for students. As states continue to transition to higher standards and a new generation of high-quality tests come to fruition, more needs to be done at state and local levels to address over testing and provide greater transparency about the purpose and benefits of each test. No parent wants their child reduced to a test score, and assessment results should be used to inform instruction, provide parents and communities with information about whether students are working at grade level or are struggling, and allow teachers to diagnose and help their students. The launch of the Testing Bill of Rights is part of a campaign led by CAP to educate school leaders, students, teachers, and parents about the need for better, fairer and fewer tests.

National PTA understands the frustration that parents, students and educators have expressed regarding over testing. However, instead of walking away from assessments themselves, National PTA seeks to empower and engage parents in the important conversations around the amount and types of tests students take as well as advocate for parents to be at the table as these discussions occur at state and local levels. Parents are an important part of the solution to improve assessments, and we can’t walk away from this responsibility.

The association believes that in order to provide the most accurate information to parents, educators, schools, districts and states all students must participate in required state assessments. The information gathered from assessments helps to make sure all students and schools are receiving the necessary resources and supports in order to reach their full potential. Additionally, if we do not have full data sets, we won’t know if the assessments actually do what they are designed or purported to do.

National PTA has always believed that educational improvements and increased well-being for our nation’s children comes from engaged and empowered parents and families. The parent voice is critical in the discussion around educational equity. Parents must be part of the solution for fairer, better and fewer tests.

National PTA urges you to sign the Testing Bill of Rights to ensure students are taking high-quality and aligned assessments, parents have accurate information on their child’s progress and achievement and teachers have a tool that helps improve instruction.


Jacki Ball is the director of government affairs at National PTA.

Four Tips to Tougher Passwords

LifeLock is a financial sponsor of National PTA, and has been invited to submit a blog post as part of their engagement with PTA. National PTA does not endorse any commercial entity, product, or service, and no endorsement is implied by this content.

If you’re making an effort to use stronger, more complex passwords on your online accounts, good for you! But be careful—a longer password isn’t always a stronger one.

Here’s what I mean. “123456” is an excellent example of a weak password. Changing it to “12345678” certainly makes it longer, but not necessarily any stronger. And changing “password” to “password123” doesn’t increase its strength by much either.

Longer is better, but weak is wshutterstock_242345959eak—no matter a password’s length—particularly if a password incorporates a simple pattern. To improve your passwords, you need to add complexity. Here are four tips to help you do so:

Randomize it
Consider using a randomized series of characters that incorporate a mix of letters (both uppercase and lowercase), numbers and symbols. While long words such as your hometown or company name could be easy for others to decipher, a random variety of characters will leave them guessing.

An easy way to remember a password that is random and difficult to decode is to create a sentence and then list characters that represent the sentence. For example, you can use a sentence like, “My favorite place is the beach,” and break it down into something like, “mFp1StB!” As you’ll read here, LifeLock educational advisor Jean Chatzky takes a similar approach for her passwords.

Variety is the spice of, um, passwords
It’s important to use different passwords for each account you have for obvious reasons. If someone guesses one password, it’ll be easier for that person to hack into your other accounts with the same password.

Update ‘em
When you update a password—for instance, following a data breach—it’s easy to fall back on ones you’ve already used. Don’t do it. Work to keep each password fresh and unique—like you!—and, of course, strong and complex.

Consider a password management app
Password management applications act like a digital wallet, storing your personal passwords, login details and other information in one place. All you need to remember is one strong password that allows you to log in to the password management app itself. There are many on the market, so search and see which one may work best for you. Learn more in this LifeLock UnLocked blog post from the Identity Theft Resource Center.

SPECIAL OFFER
Learn more about a special offer from LifeLock for PTA members and families.


Cory Warren is the blog editor of LifeLock UnLocked.

 

 

 

 

Gender Bias Still Holds Girls Back in STEM

Monica Nicolau ProfileWomen have historically been responsible for some of the greatest achievements in science, technology, engineering and math—from the completion of the Brooklyn Bridge to writing the first computer code. Unfortunately, women’s accomplishments have been limited by gender bias that persists today—even among well-intentioned parents and educators.

With Women’s History Month being celebrated now in March, this is a great opportunity to both honor women’s achievements in STEM as well as reflect on how we start eliminating these biases.

Without a doubt, our attitudes toward equal opportunity among the sexes have come a long way in recent decades. However, many parents and educators still let traditional gender stereotypes influence the way they treat girls. In fact, one survey found that parents were more likely to discuss an acting career than a STEM career with their daughters by a 2-to-1 margin.

Providing girls with positive exposure to STEM fields from an early age is critical if we want to keep them interested in the subject. A recent study by the Girl Scouts of America Research Institute found that girls who knew someone working in the STEM field, or who were exposed to STEM activities, were more likely to have an interest in STEM.

This is something I can personally relate to. My fondest memories about growing up are the Saturdays I spent with my father, a marine engineer, at his office. He designed complex electrical systems that kept some of the world’s most massive ships humming. This early exposure was enough for me to develop an interest in STEM that eventually propelled me into software engineering.

Unfortunately, gender bias means many girls do not receive the exposure that I did. This has resulted in a workforce where women only make up a quarter of STEM employees, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce—a figure that has been shrinking in recent years. In high-demand, growing fields like computer science and software engineering, women make up even lower percentages.

The first step to solving the problem begins with awareness. We must first be aware that these biases continue to exist at home and in the classroom and understand their impact. We must also pay close attention to our own actions and reflect on the ways we interact with and evaluate girls and determine what unconscious signals we might be sending.

When we do this, we may notice patterns in our own behavior that we may have been unaware of. Once we identify these patterns, we can begin working to change them and ensure the girls are equally encouraged when it comes to pursuing STEM.

It benefits us all when both halves of the human population are working to solve the biggest challenges in fields like computer science, physics, environmental engineering and medicine.


Monica Nicolau is chief technology officer for Sylvan Learning. Prior to Sylvan, Ms. Nicolau worked at Micros Systems, Inc., now Oracle Hospitality, where she held a variety of roles, including director of software engineering. She earned her master’s degree in computer science at Johns Hopkins University.

How this Database Software Helped My District’s PTA

Denise photoMy name is Denise Baer, and I have been an involved PTA member for over 13 years. I have served on PTA executive boards in many capacities, including being elected PTA president twice. My town of Westport, Conn. has eight schools—five elementary schools, two middle schools and one high school. Each school’s PTA operates independently, but we work collaboratively through a town-wide PTA council.

A longstanding challenge in Westport was how to manage our student, parent and teacher directory. Each school used their own software such as Microsoft Excel, Word or some combination. None of these systems interacted with the school databases, and there was no easy way to track students graduating from one school to the next without a significant amount of work.

The PTA directory chair position was a time-consuming, difficult-to-fill job. Volunteers spent a tremendous amount of time collecting data and verifying its accuracy. Since the PTA directory only existed in printed form, PTA parent members had to buy multiple copies—one for home, one for the car and one for the office since it was only in print form. The other problem we kept running into was that since it wasn’t cost-efficient to print it frequently, the minute we’d gathered the information, verified it and then published the directory, it was out of date.

After many years of discussing the ongoing problems, we decided it was time to take action. I chaired a committee that investigated how we could provide parents with a more value-added, electronic product—a directory that was up to date, portable, easy to access, simple to use and identical regardless of the school your child attended.

We selected MobileArq as our vendor for several reasons:

  • It allowed parents to have a single log in that allowed access to school information for each child, even if they attended different schools
  • Ease of branding the look and feel of the directories and usability
  • Parent are able to pay for membership at multiple schools (i.e. elementary and middle and high school) with one transaction

We were also able to ask MobileArq to customize the directory and administration portal to incorporate the ability to make additional donations to PTA beyond membership fees and to have a choice of payment options, online and offline.

To ensure accuracy and completeness of the directory data, we got the permission and cooperation of our superintendent to provide us with select non-confidential district data. After extensive testing of the software and marketing of the mobile directory to the Westport parents, we went live. That was almost three years ago.

The transition from a paper to an electronic directory move was a big step for our parent PTA members, but after the initial adjustment period, they can’t imagine going back! As for the PTA executive boards, the once overwhelming position of PTA directory chair became a very simple, almost non-existent job. There are always bumps and bruises as you transition to a new system, but overall we’ve found the system to be a great leap forward!

Get MobileArq for simplifying your school directory and membership management process this year. For a preview of the MobileArq platform, please visit MobileArq.com or reach them at Support@mobilearq.com


Denise Baer has served as a leader in Westport PTA Council for over 13 years.

Take Your Family to School Week 2016: Rock Out with PTA

2016 TYFTSW Poster_FINAL-1Schools across the nation took part in our Rock n’ Roll theme as they participated in this year’s Take Your Family to School Week (TYFTSW). From Feb.15-19, 2016 National PTA invited families and schools to “Rock Out with PTA” and celebrate your student rock stars.

We love providing you with ideas for themed events to host. The PTA programs are to help enhance the engagement between parents, students and teachers. A few popular events during TYFTSW that resonated with you were Connect for Respect (C4R), student safety and supporting student success.

The main goal of National PTA’s Connect for Respect (C4R) Program is to prevent bullying both inside and outside of schools. C4R events connect parent and teachers and facilitates their working together to achieve that goal. Our student safety program can be conducted by using National PTA’s Safety Toolkit, which provides overall physical safety tips for children. Last but not least, let’s not forget supporting student success! Showcasing student accomplishments and marking any progress they have made can really boost children’s self-esteem and make them want to continue achieving great things. Hopefully, with the help of our great themed events, we can increase awareness of the importance of education, health and wellness and safety.

During this year’s #TYFTSW16, PTAs took our event ideas and made them their own. All throughout the week, schools engaged in various fun activities, from talent shows to lively science nights. All of the PTAs really out-did themselves this year!

A theme can add a creative twist to your event. It can help boost the engagement of your students and their parents. And that’s what made the events very creative. Barry Pathfinder PTA, located in Kansas City, Mo., had a Star Wars themed roller skating night and a 50s sock hop family drive-in movie night. Wow! In Raleigh, N.C., Centennial Campus Middle School PTSA had a pretty far-out week with their groovy-themed book fair. Now that’s neat!

These schools were able to address serious topics with their amazing, welcoming themes. Barry Pathfinder PTA’s focus was increasing parental engagement. To do so, in addition to their Star Wars and 50s sock hop events, they served a delicious breakfast to students and their parents and informed them of their children’s daily scholastic routine. Centennial Campus Middle School PTSA focused on anti-bullying, test taking and anxiety and online safety alongside their “groovy” book fair. With the assistance of N.C. House Representative Rosa Gill and NCPTA President Kelly Langston, their message came across loud and clear to both parents and students.

Nothing brings a community together better than dancing, food and music. Grafenwoehr Elementary School PTA, located in Grafenwoehr, Germany, had the right idea by having a Just Dance family dance-a-thon! Their main focus was health and wellness. With that much moving around, by end of the night everyone enjoyed themselves and felt energized. A jamboree will do the job as well. That was Racine, Wis. Jerstad-Agerholm Middle School PTSA’s idea. They took the all-inclusive party route and joined the elementary and middle schoolers together, along with their parents, to have a fun-filled day with arts and crafts, food, games and raffles.

TYFTSW events help to get your students and their parents on the same page. It’s better for everyone—students, parents, teachers and schools—when parents understand what their child is learning, especially when a student needs help with their homework. A night filled with math and literacy activities, a student art gallery and science learning are all great ways to get parents involved and up-to-date. Marigny Elementary PTA did just that! They welcomed parents to a night of fun learning to give parents ideas they can use to keep learning going at home for their kids.

Ultimately, the goal of PTA programs is team work. After all, they say it takes a village to raise a child. Parents and teachers have to make a unified effort in order to develop a better learning environment for the children. Participating in your school’s Take Your Family to School Week can get the ball rolling in the right direction! We can’t wait to see what great themes you come up with next year!


Ebony Scott is the communications intern at National PTA.

4 Ways to Get Involved in Your Children’s Education

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This blog was originally posted on TODAY Parenting Team.

Every parent wants the best for their child and wants to be engaged in their education to support their learning and achievement.

The challenge for many parents, however, is figuring out what they can do and knowing the most effective ways to get involved.

As the president of National PTA, I have spoken to many parents who have asked, “How can I be involved in my child’s school and learning when I work a full-time job and keep a busy schedule to support my family?” As a working parent, I had the same question and concern when my children entered school.

After first getting involved, I quickly realized the importance to help my children—and all children—succeed and reach their full potential—no matter the level of involvement.

It is important to remember that involvement is different for every family and is not limited to attending meetings or participating at school.

Here are some ways to get involved:

Join PTA
Get involved with your local parent teacher association. Even if you are an on-the-go mom or dad, you will find support from other parents in PTA who have the same questions, concerns, hopes and dreams for their children. You will also be part of a dedicated network of families, educators, businesses and community leaders who are working to ensure all children receive a high-quality education. That means, even if you aren’t able to be at every meeting, you know there is a group of parents who are invested in the success of every child at your school — including yours.

Talk about school matters at home
Be interested and listen to your child. Encourage your child to talk about his/her day and express concerns. Learn about your child’sstrengths and weaknesses and what activities he/she likes and doesn’t like. Two-way communication is essential to developing an active and positive relationship and an open, ongoing dialogue is critical. Then if any issues come up at school, your child will feel more comfortable talking to you about it.

Be a partner in your child’s learning
Education is individual for each child and remains a shared responsibility. It is important to work with your child’s teacher to best support him or her. It is also essential to develop a relationship with your child’s teacher and keep in touch with him/her often. Find out the best way to contact your child’s teacher and ask for times when it would be convenient for him or her to talk. It is also important to provide teachers with the best way to contact you. Consistent communication (via email, phone, etc.) will help build relationships.

Advocate for your child
You are your child’s best advocate. It is important to be a voice for your own and every child to ensure they are treated fairly and have access to opportunities that will enable them to reach their full potential. It is also critical to advocate with local school boards and state and federal government to ensure your child’s school has the resources to provide a world class education to every student. When possible, attend school board meetings. Send e-mails and letters and make phone calls to advocate with elected officials.

The most significant type of engagement is what families do at home. Parents can monitor and support their child with his/her schoolwork and let his/her teacher or school know if there are any problems. The work families do at home that’s connected to what kids are doing in school has the biggest academic impact.

By monitoring, supporting and advocating, parents can be engaged in ways that ensure that their child has every opportunity for success.

No Refund Coming? Tax Fraud is Still a Threat

LifeLock is a financial sponsor of National PTA, and has been invited to submit a blog post as part of their engagement with PTA. National PTA does not endorse any commercial entity, product, or service, and no endorsement is implied by this content.

Even if you expect to write a check to the Internal Revenue Service this year—rather than receive a refund—you should still file your taxes as soon as possible. Why? You’re still at risk of becoming a victim of income tax fraud.

Fraudsters don’t care about your actual tax or income figures. All the crooks need is your personal identification information—your name and Social Security number. Everything else— address, job information—they’ll make up, so that they’ll get a return, of course.

If you’ve been the victim of identity theft or a data breach, the Identity Theft Resource Center says that becoming a victim of tax identity theft is a very real possibility. In other words, your personal information is “out there,” and a tax thief may have it and put it to use. The crooks get to work as soon as the filing season opens. (This year, that was Jan. 19, 2016, for electronic tax returns.)

The General Accounting Office says the IRS paid out $5.8 billion for the 2013 tax year. So many tax returns being processed means that if you’re the victim of tax identity theft, it could take months to resolve your claim. As painful as it is to gather your documents and file your taxes, it’s no doubt much easier and less stressful than discovering you’re a victim of identity tax fraud.

Here are three different ways you can report a tax fraud issue:

  1. If you suspect someone stole your identity and used your Social Security number, then complete Form 14039 and mail a printed copy to the IRS.
  2. If you suspect fraudulent activity or abusive tax scheme by a tax return preparer, then complete Form 14157 and mail a printed copy to the IRS.
  3. If you suspect or know of an individual or business that isn’t complying with tax laws, then use Form 3449-A and mail to the IRS, Fresno, CA 93888.

Take advantage of LifeLock’s protection plans. As a proud supporter of National PTA, LifeLock is offering all PTA members and their families a very special offer. Learn more about the offer.

You can also visit the Identity Theft Resource Center and Internal Revenue Service websites for additional resources.


Cory Warren is the blog editor of LifeLock UnLocked.