Did you know that tax time can be prime time for scammers and identity thieves?
The danger is that these crooks take advantage of tax season to get their hands on your money or personal information that they can use in other scams.
You should be on the lookout for things such as phone and email or text phishing tax scams.
Fraudsters set the trap by calling and posing as IRS employees or sending official-looking email seeking personal information.
They will either tell you that you owe money that needs to be paid immediately or you will face some sort of punishment, or that you have a refund coming but they need more information.
What they really want from you is personal information such as Social Security or bank account numbers – information they can use to get at your money or use to apply for credit cards or loans in your name.
Or they might tell you that they will clear your tax problem if you immediately pay them via a pre-loaded debit card or money wire transfer.
Don’t fall for it. Once you pay that way, you’ll never see that money again.
You might also receive official-looking email claiming to be from the IRS, asking you to update personal or tax information.
Don’t be tempted. Don’t believe the requests or threats. And don’t click on any of the links.
Links like this can take you to fake sites that either collect personal data or infect your computer with viruses.
Just so you know: The IRS says it never calls to demand immediate payment, ask for any specific form of payment method, ask for credit or debit card information over the phone, or threaten to call local law enforcement.
Visit our Security Tips and Best Practices page for more information on how you can protect yourself from online fraud and social engineering predators.