Avoid Getting Scammed this Tax Season: Staying Alert for Fraud

Should I Go To Small Claims
January 21, 2019

As the deadline for filing taxes, April 17th, draws nearer, stay on alert to avoid being scammed by hackers who are phishing for your financial information with these tips:

  • The IRS will never contact taxpayers by email, text message, or social media to request personal or financial information. These requests do not come from the IRS.
  • The IRS will never call to demand immediate payment, without the opportunity for review or appeal, or threaten to report you to, or send in, local law enforcement agencies for failure to pay.

Beware of potential email scams as well:

  • If you receive an email from your tax professional requesting information for an IRS form, follow up with a phone call to verify that they were the one actually initiating the request. Never just use the phone number listed on the email – look up the number independently to make sure you aren’t redirected back to the person originating the fraud.
  • Beware of emails containing links to an IRS website; never follow links from an unknown sender, and you can always look up the link or form you need on the IRS website.
  • Other signs of a scam include questionnaires claiming to be from the IRS or other law enforcement, robo-calls requesting you call back, tax refund emails, or invalid tax refunds into your bank account.

If you ever have a concern about the validity of a message or request, call your tax professional or the IRS directly.  Again, never use the phone number listed in a suspicious email or voice message.

If you believe you have been the victim of a scam, or have noticed a fraudulent communication, please report those instances to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.  If the matter involved a wire scam, reporting to the Federal Trade Commission may be an option as well.

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