With a bit more than a month left to finish our income tax return, scammers and fraudsters are a real danger. Every year, new reports and articles are posted in an attempt to inform and warn unsuspicious tax payers. Therefore, we are listing four of the most common tax scams of 2019 so you can identify them and avoid them before it is too late. This will help us keep our personal information safe and our record with the IRS clean.
Tax fraudsters and scammers try to use different methods to steal people’s information. Some of these include email phishing, fake refund scams, phone calls pretending to be the IRS, and impersonating tax preparers. So, the best way to avoid falling for these tax scams of 2019 is being informed and paying attention to any suspicious call or email we receive.
Email Phishing Scams
Receiving phishing emails has become an everyday part of the digital life. However, when it comes to tax scams, identifying a threat can be trickier than we think. This year, many companies have reported receiving this kind of emails in order to provide sensitive information of their employees. Fraudsters are sending phishing emails to HR and other staff members of companies pretending to be CEOs or Head directors. Through these emails, they try to get employees’ sensitive information to either commit fraud, to steal their identity, or sell the data online.
Fake Refund Scams
Scammers are also contacting unsuspicious taxpayers to inform them of an “uncollected refund” check. Then, they ask their victims to provide them with their Social Security Number and bank account info so that they can receive the refund as a deposit. Scammers trick their victims into giving this information by impersonating IRS representatives only to later steal their information. Therefore, we must remain alert and never provide sensitive information by email or phone.
IRS Phone Call Scams
One of the most common tax scams of 2019, just as every other year, is receiving a phone call from the “IRS”. What fraudsters do is contact taxpayers and inform them of a tax bill they must pay as soon as possible. In order to convince them of paying, callers threat their victims with being subject to fines and even facing arrest. However, we must remember that the IRS never calls or requests money over the phone, as they only use regular mail to contact taxpayers.
Fraud Tax Preparers
Recently, there have been many reports about scammers and fraudsters pretending to be professional tax preparers. This allows them to collect information they can use to either sell online, commit other fraud, or snatch tax refunds. In order to avoid falling for these tax scams, always remember to research a tax preparer beforehand. Also, remember that any tax preparer must have a PTIN, or Preparer Tax Identification Number assigned by the IRS. Besides, their agency should be able to provide you with records that prove they are qualified.