It’s Tax Season again, which means it’s time to be on the lookout for fraudsters and scammers looking to take advantage of unsuspecting taxpayers. Keep an eye out for red flags and stay away from offers that are too good to be true.
occurs when a thief uses your personal identifying information to commit fraud or other crimes without your permission. For example, an identity thief could use a tax payer’s personal information to file a fraudulent tax return and claim a refund. Learn more about the steps the IRS takes to protect tax payers’ identities.
is an attempt by a fraudster to collect your personal information by way of a fraudulent email or website that appears to be from a legitimate entity, such as the IRS. Remember, the IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email to request personal or financial information – ever. Report IRS-related phishing attempts by forwarding the email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Return Preparer Fraud
can occur if a dishonest tax preparer commits refund fraud or identity theft against an unsuspecting taxpayer. The IRS reminds consumers to only choose preparers who sign the returns they prepare and enter their IRS Preparer TIN.
Social Security Tax Scams & "Free Money" Offers From the IRS
tend to target low-income individuals, the elderly, and members of church organizations where word of mouth tends to spread among friends. The scams build false hope by suggesting the victim may qualify for special tax credits, all the while charging the victim money for the bad advice and claims that never follow through.
Impersonations of Charitable Organizations
are common following natural disasters. Scammers will pose as charity coordinators to get money or private information from tax payers that want to help. These types of scams have been around for a long time and can be highly sophisticated.