(FinancialHealth.net) – ‘Tis the season to file taxes — and protect yourself from scams. Tax season is a busy time for thieves. Law enforcement departments across the country and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) are already warning citizens to be on the lookout for fishy (and phishy) activity.
Here are three tax scams that you want to be aware of going into the tax season:
- That’s not the IRS calling you: Thieves are calling people and telling them their Social Security numbers are being canceled or suspended due to unpaid tax bills. It’s important to remember that the IRS will never call, email, or text message you.
- Avoid phishing emails: If you receive an email asking for your Social Security number or other personal financial information, do not respond.
- Ransomware attacks: There are reports of ransomware attacks on tax preparers. Hackers access their accounts and freeze their programs, sometimes telling the accountants they must pay a ransom. Even if they pay, the thieves may still steal the taxpayers’ personal information. If you’re unable to e-file your return, a scammer may have already filed one fraudulently using your info.
If you believe you are a victim of a tax scam, contact authorities. You can report suspicious calls to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration by emailing email@example.com. In the subject line, put “IRS Phone Scam,” and in the body, give authorities the callback number and the caller ID of the person who contacted you.
Also, if you think thieves filed a duplicate return with your tax information, file IRS Form 14039. The form lets the agency know your identity was stolen.
Remember, when in doubt, don’t give your information out.
~Here’s to Your Financial Health!
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