Avoiding Tax Season Scams
Tax season is here, and it can be a stressful time for all. It’s important to take your time when filing your taxes, as identity theft threats are high during this season. Below are a few tips that will help you avoid becoming a victim of identity theft.
Phone scams: Criminals have been known to impersonate IRS agents and continue to be ongoing threat to taxpayers. Generally, calls from the IRS are rare and typically they mail correspondence, so be leery of anyone claiming to be from the IRS on the phone.
Fake charities: There are groups masquerading as charitable organizations to solicit donations, so take a few extra minutes to ensure that your money is going to reputable charities. The IRS has a search tool taxpayers can use to choose a tax exempt charitable organization.
Phishing: Taxpayers should be alert to potential fake emails or websites looking to steal personal information. Be wary of emails that do not look legitimate. The IRS will never initiate contact about a bill via email.
Ransomware: Ransomware is a form of malware that will require victims to receive a ransom request that usually demands payment in a virtual currency. The IRS encourages to use multi-factor authentication (MFA) to protect against data thefts.
Return preparer fraud: The vast majority of tax professionals provide honest, high-quality service. However, there are some that operate each filing season to scam clients that hurt taxpayers. The IRS has a great page with tips for choosing a preparer.
Identity theft is scary and can be quite expensive for both individuals and businesses; however, there are ways to protect yourself! Head over to the IRS website to learn more about how to identity potential signs of identity theft and take action if you become a victim. Additionally, you can ask your agent or account manager at The Uhl Agency for more information about identity theft coverage or cyber insurance.