Tax Season: Phishing and Phone Scams on the Rise

Scams will often deceptively claim to be from the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS website offers more information regarding types of identity theft and ways to prevent or avoid them at http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=155682,00.html. The IRS also provides a list of several popular scams, found at http://www.irs.gov/uac/Tax-Scams-Consumer-Alerts. The top of the list describes a phishing scam directed at tax preparers and the second details a sophisticated telephone scam targeting all tax filers. Be prepared and look for the phishing warning signs.

The IRS will NEVER:

  • call to demand immediate payment, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill;
  • demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe;
  • require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card;
  • ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone; or
  • threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.
It is important to be cautious and make sure that a promising message is actually coming from the source it claims before buying into its offer. Above all, be careful who you trust, and have a safe tax season!

Last Updated: August 23, 2016