As if tax season wasn’t bad enough in itself, there are scammers all set to make it into a real tragedy.
Scammers prey on us by knowing what we worry about. How to pay overdue taxes, how to get a better refund faster, the threat of an audit, these are our areas of vulnerability at tax time. Protect yourself by going directly to www.irs.gov for information. Take any snail mail notices to your tax preparer or call the IRS about it. (Use a phone with unlimited minutes and get comfortable, they’re understaffed this year.) Use good old American common sense and skepticism to analyze any email or social media you receive that claim to help you with the IRS or claim to be from the IRS.
The IRS warns us that the IRS will never ask for personal information via social media or email. If you receive an email supposedly from the IRS don’t open any attachments and forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The IRS will never ask you for the password or PIN to your bank accounts, stock accounts or credit card accounts.
Here’s a link to the IRS’s warnings about tax season scammers and identity thieves: http://www.irs.gov/uac/Newsroom/IRS-Warns-of-Tax-time-Scams