The IRS indicates thousands of people have lost millions of dollars and their personal information to tax scams. It is important to be aware of tax-related schemes, not just during tax season but all year, so you can avoid them.
IRS-impersonation telephone scams
- Victims are told they owe money to the IRS and are threatened with arrest, deportation, suspension of business, etc.
- Fraudsters offer a refund to trick victims into sharing private information.
Email, phishing and malware schemes
- Be alert to bogus emails that appear to come from your tax professional, requesting information for an IRS form.
- Phishing schemes may seek information related to refunds, filing status, confirming personal information, ordering transcripts and verifying PIN information.
- Links to bogus websites, that mirror the official IRS site, can contain malware that infects computers and allows criminals to access your files or track your keystrokes to gain information. These websites can also be used to file false returns.
The IRS does not. . .
- Contact taxpayers by email, text messages or social media channels
- Call to demand immediate payment using a specific payment method
- Threaten to involve local police or other law-enforcement to arrest you for not paying
- Demand payment without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount
- Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone
- Require payment for taxes in a certain way. For instance, require that you pay with a prepaid debit card, iTunes gift card or via wire transfer.
- Call to demand immediate payment without first sending a bill in the mail.
More ways to secure your personal information
Our online security center provides additional actions you can take to protect yourself from financial fraud.
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