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Beware of Email and Phone Tax Scams

January 31st 2017 by
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Every year, millions of people fall victim to tax scams – don’t be one of them. While there is no way anyone can be 100% safe, being proactive and knowledgeable about what to look out for can greatly reduce your risk.

Typical Tax Scams

It’s a red flag if you experience the following:

  • Someone says they’re from the IRS or State and would like to help you with filing your taxes, requesting your personal information.
  • You get an email about a tax refund or bill, often threatening if immediate action is not taken.

Criminals have come a long way with appearing legitimate, and emails may even include official seals or logos. It’s important to remember that the IRS or government will never initiate contact with you to ask for your personal and financial information.

They will also no request you to pay taxes with a prepaid debit card or demand you pay immediately.

What To Do if You Think You’re Being Targeted

Here are the steps you should take if you’re concerned about an email or phone call you received:

  • Don’t give out any personal or financial information
  • Forward suspicious emails to phishing@irs.gov
  • Ask for a caller’s contact number and employee badge number, then call the IRS or state tax authority to verify
  • Don’t open any email attachments
  • Report incidents at IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting and/or FTC Complaint Assistant.

Further Tips and Information

The IRS website has additional tips for dealing with tax scams, plus information on known scams. Click here to visit their website.

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