With tax season around the corner, tax
thieves will be ramping up their attempts to steal the personal and tax
information of taxpayers. Knowing how to spot their attempts is essential to
staying safe from their scams. During this tax season, expect to receive fake
emails, phone calls and/or text messages supposedly from the IRS or a legitimate
agency attempting to steal your tax, personal and/or financial information.
Sending out thousands of fake emails to
steal information is easy and is a widespread problem. Tax scammers pretend to
be the IRS, a known bank or a reputable government organization to gain the
trust of the receiver of the email. They copy the look and many times even the
signature of an authority to seem legitimate. The only difference is that such
fake emails either lead you to a fake webpage designed to get your tax
information, or have attachments containing malware that steal information from
The IRS never sends unsolicited emails. If
a financial institution has sent an email, it is best to call them or send them
a message and not click on the links in the suspicious email.
Fake Phone Calls
Expect phone calls from the IRS, banks or
financial institutions this tax season, but know that they are fake if they ask
for your Social Security Number, filing status, birth date, and other
information that you include in your return. They may also ask for financial
information such as PIN and bank account numbers. Whichever way identity
thieves use to contact you, they will be attempting to get hold of your
personal, tax and/or financial information.
Text messages on the phone or on social
networking sites is another way tax scammers attempt to get information, which they
use to file fraudulent tax returns to claim huge refunds. Whatever the message
says, the underlying intention will be to ask you to share your tax filing information.
Tax scammers are most active before and
during the tax season, but they can only harm you if you fall into their trap. After
you have spotted a fake or a suspicious email or message, or received a
suspicious phone call, report it to the IRS to help catch the scammers.
Labels: IRS, Tax News, Tax Scams, Taxpayers