February Scam of the Month - Council on Aging

Tax Season Equals Tax Scams

As a new tax season begins, keep in mind scammers will be revving up their efforts to steal YOUR money.  The scams come in different forms: phishing emails, harassing phone calls and tax return identity theft.

Here are some steps to help keep your identity and money safe:

  • File taxes early to avoid scammers
  • Be cautious about tax related emails. Go to the website and log directly into your account for relevant information
  • Hang up on IRS impersonator phone calls
  • Report suspicious emails or phone calls ASAP
  • Shred bank and tax documents before throwing away
  • Update your security software

The IRS offers an option called Identity Protection PIN (IP PIN) that assigns a unique six-digit code to eligible taxpayers that helps limit fraudulent tax returns. There is more information available at https://www.irs.gov/identity-theft-fraud-scams/the-identity-protection-pin-ip-pin.

Here are some reminders about the IRS. They will NEVER:

  • call about past due taxes without having mailed several notices first
  • call to demand payment with threats to involve law enforcement and have you arrested
  • call or email asking you to divulge personal and/or financial information
  • require payment without allowing you to appeal or even question the amount due
  • require you to use a specific payment method like a pre-paid debit card
  • ask for your credit/debit card and/or bank information over the phone

Sources: Internal Revenue Service, marketwatch.com and Turbotax.intuit.com