Tax Season is almost finished. Last-minute filings are being prepped and, for many, relief is in the near future. For victims of tax season scams, however, relief is still a long way off. There are many scams and frauds out there, but this blog will cover two. Be sure to avoid falling victim to these predatory practices.
Tax ID Theft
Tax ID theft occurs when someone’s personal information is stolen in order to secure a fraudulent refund. This can look like someone filing their return with your information, claiming your children as their own, or using a deceased person’s information. Thieves will use any number of methods to gather information: they may call or email you pretending to be someone they are not, or even go through your personal mail to get the information they need. These thieves are constantly trying new ways of getting information from their victims.
To help avoid falling victim to this scam, there are a few things you can do.
- Don’t give out your information unless you know who you are giving it to. If someone else is doing your taxes, be sure you trust them.
- Shred documents you no longer need that contain your personal information.
- Try to complete your taxes as early as possible, so thieves don’t do it first.
IRS imposter scams involve thieves pretending to work for the IRS in order to get your personal information. Sometimes these fakes threaten you with arrest or penalties, and/or setup fake identification/caller IDs to trick you.
The IRS will not call you to demand payment without sending you mail first (so you should know the call is coming). And if they do call, they will not threaten you with arrest, nor will they ask for payment information over the phone.
Unsure if you’re being scammed? Reach out to the IRS directly on their website, or call them.
AARP has a few resources you may want to take a look at. Their Fraud Map shows noted frauds and scams in your area. Their two quizzes, Are You an Easy Target for Scammers? and Are You Savvy About Wi-Fi Security? may give you the edge you need to help stay away from scams.