Tips for Dealing with Dangerous Tax Scams

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Fake emails pretend to be from a trusted authority like the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), tax software vendor (e.g., TurboTax), or a tax preparer (e.g., H&R Block). Links in the emails direct you to a website that directs you to enter sensitive personal information such as bank account information or Social Security numbers. Once entered, the data is stolen and used for identify theft or tax fraud.

Don't click on links in emails. Instead, go directly to the site by typing in the URL or entering it in a search engine. Note that the IRS does not initiate taxpayer communications by email or other messaging services. Unsolicited email claiming to be from the IRS, or from an IRS-related component such as Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS), should be reported to the IRS at phishing@irs.gov. Also, be careful of the sites you visit. Malicious sites can look authentic. Look carefully at the web address, or URL, and confirm that there are no typos or misspellings.

Cyber criminals and scammers view tax season as a prime opportunity. There are many ways that you can fall victim to their attacks and scams. The IRS has issued numerous consumer warnings about the fraudulent use of the IRS name or logo by scammers that are trying to trick consumers into providing their personal information (identity theft) in order to steal their financial assets or commit fraud. In addition, tax preparers and tax software vendors are often impersonated. Scammers use email, the web, postal mail, telephone and fax to set up their victims.

In this slideshow, Marie White, CEO of Security Mentor, a security awareness provider, discusses some of the serious tax scams and tax fraud, and offer ways to help you avoid them.


Related Topics : Unisys, Stimulus Package, Security Breaches, Symantec, Electronic Surveillance

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