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

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