Every year, millions of Americans fall victim to tax-related scams, such as identity theft and refund scams. As of September 2017, more than 12,000 people were victimized by tax scams and lost over $60 million to these IRS impersonators.
The most common scam is a call from someone claiming to be an IRS agent. They will tell you that you owe back taxes or that there is a problem with your tax return and you need to pay immediately. Some IRS impersonators will even threaten you by claiming that they are going to send a policeman to arrest you if you do not pay immediately.
Some people receive these kind of calls every day, or even multiple times a day. It’s important to remember that the IRS does not make calls. If you owe back taxes or have an issue with your tax return, you will receive a letter in the mail first, not a phone call or email. If you receive an email from Internal Revenue, do not open it. Delete it immediately. Phishing emails are the easiest ways for scammers to get your personal information. Do not give any personal information over email, such as passwords, bank account numbers, or credit card numbers.
Also, when using a website to file your taxes, make sure that it is a legitimate company and website. As a tip, if there is an “S” after the HTTP, that means the website is secure. Be careful of giving personal information over a website that is not secure. It’s always best to verify who or what company you are working with to file your taxes.
Following these tips can help to protect you and your loved ones from falling victim to tax scammers.