Common Tax-Related Scams & Tips To Keep You Safe – Annemarie DellaGuardia, REALTOR®

Common Tax-Related Scams & Tips To Keep You Safe

Upset man with papers and calculator at homeTax season is already upon us, which means scams will continue to increase over the first few months of 2018.

Tax scams usually fall under three categories: fraudulent returns, phone scams, and phishing scams. This Tuesday Tips will help you identify the most common types of tax related fraud, and how to prevent yourself from falling victim in 2018.

Tax Scam 1: Fraudulent Returns

The amount of fraudulent tax returns has increased over the past few years; however, the IRS has been able to step up its efforts to combat scammers. The IRS was able to detect 35,000 fraudulent returns during the first few months of 2016, and prevented $193.8 million in fraudulent returns. Despite this effort, there’s still a chance your identity could be used to file a fraudulent tax return.

How To Prevent It

Though having a fraudulent tax return completed in your name is not 100% avoidable, there are things you can do to help prevent this from happening to you…

  • File your tax return as soon as possible. Since the IRS only accepts one tax return per social security number, filing your tax return as early as possible can help protect you.
  • To prevent fraudulent tax returns in the future, be stingy about where you give out your social security number, check your credit report often, and shred all documents that contain sensitive and personal information.

Tax Scam 2: Phone Scams

One of the most common types of tax-related scams are phone scams, where crooks pose as IRS agents. According to News Week, phone scams have cost consumers $23 million over the course of the past few years. In some instances, consumers’ caller ids even read, “IRS-IMPORTANT.”

How To Prevent It

Know the IRS will never…

  • Call you and demand immediate payment.
  • Call you before first mailing you a bill.
  • Demand that you make a payment without providing you with an opportunity to appeal.
  • Require a specific payment method.
  • Ask for your credit card or debit card number over the phone.
  • Threaten to have you arrested for non compliance.

Tax Scam 3: Phishing Scams

In most instances these scams come in the form of email, but can also be sent via text message. In both instances, victims are tricked into thinking the messages have come directly from the IRS.

With an email phishing scam, a crook will send you an email that contains links that direct you to a fake site, designed to mirror the real IRS website. This email will ask you to update your IRS e-file immediately. If you comply, and fill out your information, the crook has won.

Thankfully, these types of scams are avoidable if you know what to look for.

How To Prevent It

Keep in mind…

Article from Launch Federal Credit Union Tuesday Tips.