Intrepid scammers have decided that tax season would be too boring without the looming suspense of identity theft. Joking aside, tax scams are a major problem. During the 2016 tax season alone, the IRS reported a jaw-dropping 400% spike in phishing scams, and that number has only crept up in the years since. Protecting your personal information during tax season means educating yourself on common tax scams and staying vigilant for signs of those scams.
Many — but not all — tax scams arrive in the form of phishing emails. Phishing scams try to trick you into revealing sensitive information about yourself. This can include financial info like your credit cards and bank accounts or personal info like your Social Security number. Scammers may also try to get their hands on login credentials like your password and PIN number.
As a rule, the IRS will never ask you for access to your bank or credit cards. They’ll also never contact you via email. If the IRS does reach out, it will always be in the form of a paper letter bearing an official seal and notice number.
All right, we’ve established how the real IRS communicates. Let’s look at some phishy communiques from IRS imposters.
Tax scams to watch out for in 2020
You’re being investigated by the IRS Criminal Investigation Division
This scam preys on a sense of fear that you’ve done something wrong and need to rectify it immediately or face the consequences. The email, allegedly from the IRS Criminal Investigation Division, claims that you’re the subject of a criminal investigation for submitting a fake tax return. A link or attachment purporting to be the criminal complaint is actually thinly disguised malware.
You need to update IRS eFile immediately
You may receive an email instructing you to (Read more…)