Phishing is one of the most common types of IRS scams. Last year, the IRS reported a 400 percent increase in phishing scams during tax season. These scams involve sending tax filers fake emails to get them to reveal important personal information like Social Security numbers, birthdays or addresses.
Emails may look and sound official. Some may look like they came from the IRS, or organizations like the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel. They may ask tax filers about topics related to refunds, filing status or confirming personal information.
Fake emails often contain links to malicious websites. The emails may ask tax filers to update their e-file information, but will link to a fake and official looking website. These websites use scripts and hyperlinks that contain malware injections used to steal the information of tax filers.
How Can You Avoid Phishing Scams?
The IRS has several suggestions that can help filers avoid phishing scams during tax season.
- Never reply to fake IRS emails asking for personal information, like Social Security numbers. This information may allow thieves to steal your tax return and commit identity theft.
- Do not open attachments or links found in fake IRS emails. These attachments are likely to contain malware that can steal your information. Filers are advised to never open attachments or links sent in these emails.
If for any reason filers click on links or reveal personal information in these emails, the IRS has an identity theft protection page. Remember, the IRS will not email you out of the blue asking for personal information.
The Kansas City bankruptcy attorneys at The Sader Law Firm encourage you to safeguard your personal information during the 2017 filing season. It is very difficult and time consuming to repair your finances after having your identity stolen.