If you haven’t already, it’s time to pay your taxes. Here are some tips for avoiding common tax fraud schemes.

  • Phishing emails asking for personal information
    • Cyber criminals continue to use phishing emails in an attempt lure you into divulging your personal information from a W2.
  • “Robocalls” asking for information
    • A new trend is the use of robotic-sounding calls asking you to provide information or enter your social security number from your keypad. This is a way for cyber criminals to get at your personally identifiable information.
  • Phone calls from imposters posing as IRS agents
    • You’ve filed your taxes ahead of time, but you get a phone call from the “IRS” advising you that you owe more than you paid in. They say if you don’t pay, you’ll be subject to legal action, even arrest. The cyber criminals may even have your date of birth and social security number to sound convincing. If you receive one of these calls, notify the IRS, law enforcement and your tax preparer immediately.
  • False letters
    • A lot of people know the IRS will communicate with you via mailed letters. Be aware that some of these letters may come from criminals. Should you receive one, notify the IRS, law enforcement, and your tax preparer using phone numbers you get OUTSIDE of the letter. Do not call any numbers listed on the letters.
  • False tax filings
    • You go to file your return and your tax preparer sees that there is a return already on file under your information. Now you’re a victim of identity theft. You and your tax preparer should immediately notify the IRS. The IRS will give you a unique PIN to file your future tax returns. Also, be sure to clean up the identity theft to avoid other problems.
  • Tax Preparer Schemes
    • Cyber criminals continue to target tax preparation professionals. Why? Because tax preparers deal with a large amount of personal identifiable information (PII). As a result, they are a natural target for cyber criminals.

Learn more:

Check out the IRS’ 2019 ‘Dirty Dozen’ list of tax scams here:
https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-concludes-dirty-dozen-list-of-tax-scams-for-2019-agency-encourages-taxpayers-to-remain-vigilant-year-round

 

Have another thought, tip or suggestion? Leave it in the comments below. I would love to hear from you!

Posted by Elvis Huff

Elvis Huff worked as an officer and network administrator for 12 years with the Lebanon Police Department and has also served as an adjunct professor in information systems at Cumberland University. Read More »

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