Tax season is in full swing and criminals are seizing the opportunity for scams.
Because of the recent major data breaches we’ve seen in the past few months, which exposed sensitive information on a large scale, we should be even more vigilant about taking steps to minimize our risk of ID theft and other online-related crime. Don’t become the next victim.
Every time when you are online, you need to be on alert for phishing and other scams to steal your identity.
Some ways you can recognize a tax online scam:
* Requests personal and/or financial information, such as name, SSN, bank or credit card account numbers or security-related information, such as mother’s maiden name, either in the email itself or on another site to which a link in the email directs you
* Treatens a consequence for not responding to the email, such as additional taxes or blocking access to your funds
* Has incorrect spelling for the Internal Revenue Service or other federal agencies
* Discusses “changes to tax laws” that include a downloadable document (usually in PDF format) that purports to explain the new tax laws (these downloads are populated with malware that, once downloaded, may infect your computer)
* Uses incorrect grammar or odd phrasing
Below are some very good resources on how to prevent identity theft from tax scams and other great information:
The Center for Internet Security’s Protect Yourself from Tax Season Identity Theft Scams:
Taxpayer Guide to Identity Theft:
IRS Dirty Dozen Tax Scams for 2014:
Be sure to protect yourself and your assets this tax season.
~Cheryl Pastor, Social Media Specialist