Tax scams are pretty common and it happens all year round, but they usually tend to increase during the tax season. Many people lose money to fraud every year and thousands of people have lost millions of dollars and their personal information to tax scams. And the scammers usually make use of regular mails, telephone, and email to set everything up. One thing to note here is that the IRS usually does not initiate contacts with taxpayers through email, text messages, or through different social media channels to request personal and financial information. So, if you get any call or emails requesting as such, you should be careful and be wary of it. Here are some common IRS Scams you should look out for: 124
Fraudulent Tax Preparers: When you are hiring tax preparers for the tax season, you need to make sure that you are hiring legitimate service providers. If you are not careful, you could end up with fraudulent tax preparers who will put together returns using false information. And these fraudulent tax preparers usually do this to boost refund, while some do it to steal personal information.
Phishing: Phishing is a common type of fraud and it usually includes the use of fake email, advertisements, and websites to gain the personal information of the taxpayers. Hackers who use the phishing method usually send emails impersonating a company and send a link to fake portals usually asking for personal and sensitive information, such as account number, social security number, and more. This fraud usually increases during tax season, so make sure that you are careful.
Phone Calls: In a phone call scam, a fraudster will call pretending to be an IRS agent. They usually call saying that you have to pay an overdue tax bill, and they will threaten to have you arrested if you do not pay the amount. During these calls, most people end up getting panicked and they give into paying the overdue bill. This is one of the most common ongoing threats that many taxpayers experience. If you do receive such calls, remember that the IRS does not make any calls demanding immediate payment.
Tax Identity Theft: Tax identity theft usually occurs when scammers steal a taxpayer's identity and use it to get a refund from the IRS. They usually try to do this before the taxpayers file for their taxes. This usually occurs early in the tax season as they try to file it before the taxpayer does; therefore, the best option is to file your taxes as early as possible. Another common tax identity theft is when someone claims your children as their dependent. To stay clear of such scams, do not share your social security number and your personal information with any unidentified source and try to file your taxes as early as possible.
How Can You Protect Yourself From Scam?
There are several steps that you can take to protect yourself from falling victim to scams. The first step is to file as early as possible, so if you usually wait to file your taxes at the last minute, you should prioritize getting it filed as early as possible. When you file early, you can prevent identity theft. The second tip is to keep your social security number safe and secure, the best thing that you can do is leave any documentation that has your social security number on it at home.
And if you do receive any calls from the IRS do not trust it, as the IRS never calls or uses recorded messages. If you are a taxpayer, you should watch out for these IRS Scams to make sure that you do not fall victim to such scams.