Every tax season brings along with it the headache of trying to gather all the required documents the IRS is expecting you to file and the worry of scammers getting ahold of your information and using it to gain access to your hard-earned money. There are already an abundant amount of scammers out and about lurking as you read this trying to decide who it is they are going to prey on next. And because scammers continue to master their deceitful tactics to get what they want, it is important for you to be mindful of their strategies so you can avoid dealing with the unwanted stress associated with having your information stolen.
What Are Scammers Doing Now?
Because tax season is underway and the deadline to receive all your pertinent data has just passed, scammers know there is confidential information floating around online and throughout mailboxes all across the country. W-2’s contain just enough information for a scammer to use to their benefit by taking advantage of your excellent credit history, the refund you could potentially be receiving, etc.
This year, the Review Journal shared some common methods these scammers are using and they are described below.
Email scams- Everything is online today and many of us rely on our email systems to make contact with others and share valuable information. While this may be true for most companies, the IRS will not use email as a way of initiating contact with you in the event you need to update some information or a similar circumstance. One scam that has caused many to become the victim of identity theft is a person receives an email that notifies them they need to update their personal information. They follow a link which takes them to what appears to be the IRS’s site and they proceed on to fill in their information. Unfortunately, the information being inputted isn’t going to the IRS.
Tax attorneys in Columbus, Ohio warn that you also want to be aware of any emails that may discuss refunds as scammers take advantage knowing you are expecting a refund or are hoping for one.
The Dreadful Telephone Call
We all fear receiving a phone call from the IRS stating that we owe them money from a previous year and we are at risk of being fined or imprisoned, but the fact is, the IRS will not do this. Scammers are the only ones who will call requesting immediate payment and threaten you should you not comply. The IRS will usually send a bill in the mail and give a taxpayer the opportunity to comply or rebut the charges.
Dealing with a Tax Issue
As you begin to have your 2016 return prepared, keep in mind that there are fraudsters out there waiting for you to make a mistake. But if you were notified by the IRS of an issue with your taxes, consider consulting with a knowledgeable tax lawyer in Columbus, OH who can investigate the issue and decide what action needs to be taken.