2018 Tax Scams
We all know, or should know, tax season leads to an increase in tax related scams. Often times these scams come in various forms, with the end goal being obtaining illegitimate funds. Recently, there have been two different tax alerts being distributed to the public. First, there is a concern hackers will use the information from the Equifax breach to illegally file for a tax returns. Individuals are encouraged to file their taxes as early as possible. If your information is illegally used to file a tax return, before you’re able to file, it could cause a delay in obtaining your return.
Secondly, hackers are targeted tax professionals with malware which takes client information, allowing the hacker to intercept the tax return. Tax professionals must ensure their operating systems and applications are updated to patch any security vulnerabilities that may be lurking. It is also critical they use a solid security solution that will block the execution of this malicious software. Application whitelisting is encouraged, as it will only allow known trusted programs to execute.
Like previous years, 2018 will likely bring the reoccurring tax scams of fake emails and phone calls. Individuals are typically contacted by hackers who claim to be from the government, likely the IRS department. They will then say you either owe funds, or they need to “confirm” data for your return. If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS, hang up. If you get an email, do not click on any links or download any attachments. Instead, familiarize yourself with the IRS refund policy:
- The IRS will not call or email you. If you truly owe the IRS anything — they will send you a letter in the mail.
- To check whether or not you owe the IRS, you can go to their website by clicking here.
- To check the status of your return, do so by going to the IRS website directly by clicking here.
- If you receive an email from anyone claiming to be from the IRS, report it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- If anyone attempts to call you stating they’re from the IRS, you can report it to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 800-366-4484.