Even the savviest consumer may fall victim to sophisticated tax scams. Luckily, you can stay alert to the latest cons in order to avoid financial losses. CashMax has assembled a list of some of the most recent schemes to protect you and your wallet from con artists.
Many scam artists utilize email to seek out personal information through a practice known as "phishing." Though these emails may appear legitimate, be cautious! Some emails contain links to viruses and malware that can harm your security. Here are some tax scams to look out for:
- Taxpayer Advocacy Groups: Scam artists may pose as real organizations, like the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel, in unsolicited emails. However, the actual panel will not ask for your personal information.
- W-2 Scams: Human Resource departments should be cautious of false emails from executives who request Social Security numbers from employees. Be sure to double check with personnel and alert the IRS if you encounter such a scam.
- False Updates: If you receive an email to update your IRS e-file, then do not click on the links. The IRS will not contact you for personal or financial information through emails.
Scammers may also contact you through the phone to request personal information. While many scam artists used aggressive methods in the past, modern tactics may be more subtle. Here are some of the latest scams that have been reported:
- Tax Refunds: Scam artists may promise a tax refund, but ask to verify personal information through the phone. Avoid giving out credit cards and Social Security numbers to unknown callers.
- IRS Impersonators: Be wary if anyone calls requesting immediate payment, such as prepaid cards and wire transfers. Callers may provide names and badge numbers, but true IRS agents will never make threats or demands. True IRS agents will also mail a bill to the taxpayer and provide opportunity for appeals.