6 Scams To Watch Out For This Tax Season
Soon the time for you to file your taxes will be here and with it, more opportunities for tax and IRS scammers to steal your identity However, you cannot just ignore your tax obligations; otherwise, you’ll end up facing more serious issues. So how do you make sure that you won’t be one of the victims of identity theft and tax scam? Here are some helpful tips for you.
Avoid opening email links
Perhaps, you have been receiving emails that carry the name of IRS asking you to update your IRS accounts by simply clicking particular links therein. If until now you aren’t clicking such links, that’s good for you. Never be tempted to open those links. They are part of tax & IRS scams. Remember that the IRS will never contact you through emails. In such a case, it is best to forward the email to the authorities.
Be cautious of who prepares your taxes
During tax season, fraudsters are out to victimize anyone they can. What makes it difficult for some tax-filers to avoid becoming the victims is that these criminals appear to be legitimate professional tax preparers. Not only that, they are quite witty when it comes to tax-related matters. However, you can completely get rid of their schemes if you will only entrust your tax issues to reputable tax professionals. Preferably, go to tax preparers that have office and which operation is duly recognized by the IRS. Ask for their details and verify the legality of their operations with the respective government agencies.
Remember that you can ask for appeals from the IRS
It is true that you are obliged to fulfill your tax responsibilities. However, you should also remember that the IRS gives you an opportunity to make an appeal. So, if someone has been inappropriately demanding you to pay your taxes as early as possible, it can be a scammer who is very much eager to get your money.
Remember that the IRS only has a standard manner of accepting payments
Never risk your money or confidential information to a caller who introduces himself as someone that comes from the IRS or any collection agencies, unless you have already verified it with the authorities. If the person wants you to do the payment in manners that are not under the process of the IRS, there is a big possibility that you are communicating with a scammer. Contacting ftccomplaintassistant.gov and reporting the fraudulent call is the best thing you should do.
Ignore threatening emails or calls
One of the most effective tools of identity thieves is inflicting fear to their prospective victims. They would always try to use it to their advantage. At times, they would call you saying that you are in great danger of being arrested for something that sounds really connected to you such as matters related to your taxes, insurance, licences, and more. Never allow intimidation to confuse you to decide to pay out your money or to surrender certain essential documents. Make it a point to pause and communicate with the authorities. This way, you will be able to verify if you really have to respond to the matter.
Be watchful of ‘charity scams’
The season for filing taxes is also the season for identity thieves to disguise like a true representative form a charitable institution. For example, one would introduce himself as a director of a particular orphanage and ask you for donations that can be deducted to your tax. If you fall into this tactic, you will be handling some essential identifying information to the id thief, which will make filing of tax returns under your name (but beyond your knowledge) possible. Avoiding this is as easy as not entertaining such calls or emails. If you are really eager to make donations, conduct a research on charitable institutions and donate in the most secure way.
In the event that you are still apprehensive of being victimized by tax scammers and identity thieves, signing up for credit monitoring services can help you obtain the security that you are aiming for.
My name is Jennifer Price and I started StopIdentityFraud.org because internet privacy & security are issues that are extremely important to me. As a private network security consultant, too often do I see the damage that can be caused by identity theft & fraud. It’s my goal to help educate people about id theft and how to better protect themselves against it. Feel free to get in touch with me here or on any of my social media profiles.