Tax Season = Tax Scams
As a new tax season begins, keep in mind scammers will be revving up their efforts to steal YOUR money. The scams come in different forms: phishing emails, harassing phone calls, and tax return identity theft.
How can you keep your identity and your money safe? Try these tips:
File taxes early to avoid scammers.
Be cautious about tax-related emails. Don't click on links. Instead, go to the website and log directly into your account for relevant information.
Hang up on IRS impersonator phone calls.
Report suspicious emails or phone calls to the authorities as soon as possible.
Shred bank and tax documents before throwing them away.
Update the security software on your computer or digital device.
The IRS offers an option called Identity Protection PIN (IP PIN) that assigns a unique six-digit code to eligible taxpayers that helps limit fraudulent tax returns. Go here for more information.
Keep in mind that the IRS will never do any of the following:
Call about past due taxes without having mailed several notices first.
Call to demand payment with threats to involve law enforcement and have you arrested.
Call or email asking you to divulge personal and/or financial information.
Require payment without allowing you to appeal or even question the amount due.
Require you to use a specific payment method like a pre-paid debit card.
Ask for your credit or debit card and/or bank information over the phone.
Sources: Internal Revenue Service, marketwatch.com and Turbotax.intuit.com