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How to Avoid Online Tax Fraud and Scams

With the tax season upon us, there are many tax return fraud and scams out there. They know what to ask and how to acquire personal information to fill in gaps in your identity. They are able to gather names, birth dates and places that you have lived through social media networking. Do not make yourself a target and know the signs of fraud and scams.

Various Types of Fraud and Scams

There are many ways people go about fraud. Most fraud is through IRS impersonation telephone scams. This phone scam is aggressive and sophisticated and targets taxpayers, to include recent immigrants. The caller claims to be an IRS employee and cons the taxpayer into providing personal information to “fix” any discrepancies in tax returns that they have informed you about; do not answer any questions that they may ask you.

Another type of scam is the taxpayer phishing scam. These consist of bogus emails that ask taxpayer professionals to update their IRS e-services portal information and Electronic Filing Identification Numbers. The links that are provided in the bogus email to access IRS e-services are designed to capture your username and password.

How to report Tax Scams

There are many ways that you can report a tax return scam. There are hotlines such as the Abusive Transaction Hotline and websites like Promoters of Abusive Tax Schemes or Prepares of Fraudulent Returns. These resources are available to taxpayers that have received fraudulent calls or phishing attempts. It is important that these attempts are reported as soon as possible and it is even more important that you do not provide any information to suspicious phone calls. Also, do not open any emails that look suspicious or asking for an update of person tax return information.

It is important to educate yourself on the different types of tax return fraud, especially during this time of year. There are many websites that you can visit to explore the threat these scams pose to you and know when to ignore the other person on the … Read the rest