Security Spotlight: Tax Season Scams

As the tax season nears, we would like to remind everyone to stay vigilant and to protect your personal and financial information.

The IRS offers the following guidance to identify and avoid scams:

  • Text message scams: Text message phishing—also called “smishing”—occurs when scam artists use deceptive text messages to lure consumers into providing their personal or financial information. During tax season, scams are sent to taxpayers’ smartphones and have referenced COVID-19 and/or “stimulus payments.” These messages often contain bogus links. The IRS does not use text messages to discuss personal tax issues.
  • Email phishing scams: Email Phishing scams use fake websites constructed to look identical to real sites. The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email to request personal or financial information. The IRS initiates most contacts through regular mail delivered by the United States Postal Service.
  • Phone scams: Criminals can fake or “spoof” caller ID numbers to appear to be anywhere in the country, including from an IRS office.
    The IRS does not leave pre-recorded, urgent or threatening messages. In many variations of the phone scam, victims are told if they do not call back, a warrant will be issued for their arrest.

Adapted from “IRS Warning: Scammers Work Year-Round; Stay Vigilant | Internal Revenue Service.”, Internal Revenue Service, 1 Feb. 2022, Accessed 11 Feb. 2022.

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