It’s always important to have your guard up during tax time, as that seems to be when the hackers come out to play more often. Your most confidential and sensitive information is on your tax documents - be sure to be smart with who you give your information to and how. Always be on your toes when it comes to handing out personal information and never click links to sites you’re unfamiliar with.
This is one of the most popular forms of scam - sending out fake emails that look real and include links to fake websites that merely steal your information once you click. These emails usually use relevant keywords to catch your attention. This year, there are a lot of scams with “coronavirus,” “COVID-19,” and “stimulus.”
Similar to phishing, phone scams or “vishing” are similar in impersonation. If you receive a call from someone asking for your personal information, hang up. The IRS will never call, threaten, or request financial information over the phone.
Ridiculous Refund Claims
Be wary of any preparer or program that promises inflated refund claims. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. If you haven’t had any major changes in your life, expect your tax return to be around the same as previous years.
Return Preparer Fraud
At the end of the day, you’re the one responsible for your tax return, no matter who prepares it. That’s why you need to steer clear of fraudulent tax return preparers. A legitimate tax return preparer needs to have a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN).
Impersonation of Charitable Organizations
Unfortunately, scammers like to target those with kind hearts by pretending to be a charity and requesting donations or credit card information. Always be aware that a legitimate charity will have an employer identification number (EIN).