The IRS is a major target for scammers, who use a variety of methods to trick taxpayers into giving up their personal and financial information. Here are some tips to help you recognize and avoid IRS scams:
- Phone call scams: The IRS will never call you out of the blue to demand payment. If you receive a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS, hang up immediately. Do not give them any personal or financial information.
- Email phishing scams: Phishing emails often look like they’re from the IRS, but they’re actually from scammers. These emails may contain links or attachments that can infect your computer with malware. If you receive an email from someone claiming to be from the IRS, don’t click on any links or open any attachments.
- Protect your personal information: Identity theft is a major concern, so it’s important to protect your personal information. Don’t give out your Social Security number or other sensitive information unless you know who you’re giving it to.
- Choose a trustworthy tax preparer: Tax preparer fraud is another way scammers can steal your money. Choose a tax preparer who is reputable and takes the security of their clients’ information seriously.
- Beware of social media scams: Scammers may impersonate IRS agents or tax professionals on social media. Be careful about who you interact with on social media, and never give out personal or financial information.
- Avoid ghost tax preparers: Ghost tax preparers do not sign the tax returns they prepare, which can lead to errors or fraud. Make sure your tax preparer signs your return and includes their Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN).
- Verify IRS letters: Scammers may send fake IRS letters through the mail. If you receive a letter from the IRS, verify its authenticity by contacting the IRS directly.
- Stay cautious of robocalls: Robocalls impersonating the IRS are becoming more common. The IRS does not initiate contact through pre-recorded calls. If you receive a robocall from someone claiming to be from the IRS, hang up and do not give them any personal or financial information.
By following these tips, you can help protect yourself from IRS scams. If you think you may have been a victim of an IRS scam, contact the IRS immediately.
Here are some additional tips to help you stay safe from IRS scams:
- Only use official IRS websites and contact information.
- Be suspicious of any communication that demands immediate payment or personal information.
- Never give out your Social Security number or other sensitive information over the phone or through email.
- Be careful about what information you share on social media.
- Keep your computer and software up to date with the latest security patches.
- Use a strong password and change it regularly.
By following these tips, you can help protect yourself from IRS scams and keep your financial information safe.
At Whalen CPAs, we are committed to safeguarding your financial well-being. It’s essential to stay informed and vigilant when it comes to IRS scams. If you ever encounter a suspicious communication or require assistance with any tax-related matter, don’t hesitate to contact our team of experts. Your financial security is our top priority.