Neighborhood Watch – It’s Tax Season, Don’t Become a Victim
Tax season is here and scam artists are upping their efforts to try to get your personal information. Tax-related identity theft occurs when someone uses your stolen Social Security number to file a tax return claiming a fraudulent refund. You may be unaware you are a victim until you receive an IRS notice, or you file your return, but it is rejected because your SSN already has been used.
Here are some of the more common scams and what you can do if you think someone is trying to get your personal information.
- An unexpected email purporting to be from the IRS is always a scam. The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email or social media to request personal or financial information. If you receive a scam email claiming to be from the IRS, forward the email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- An unexpected phone call from someone claiming to be an IRS agent, either threatening you with arrest or deportation if you fail to pay immediately, is a scam. In another variation, the caller requests your financial information in order to send you a refund. Report these calls and other IRS impersonation schemes to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 1-800-366-4484 or online at IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting.
- If you discover, or receive an email from a website that claims to be the IRS but does not begin with ‘www.irs.gov,’ forward the link to email@example.com.
Thousands of people will fall victim to these scams each year and tens of thousands of dollars will be lost to the scammers. Don’t be a victim!