Wednesday, February 17, 2010

‘Tis the Season: Don’t Fall Victim to Tax Scams

IRS impersonation schemes run rampant during tax season. The scam-artists running these schemes are out to steal your personal identification information. Because these schemes could take place through email, phone, fax, internet sites and even your social networking sites, you need to be very cautious. Here is what you need to know to avoid these scams:
  • The IRS will never send you unsolicited e-mails about your personal tax situation, tax accounts or other tax issues. If you receive such an e-mail, it is most likely a scam.
  • Some impersonations may even go so far as to be an actual commercial internet site that you might happen to visit thinking you’re accessing the official IRS Web site. Such sites have no connection to the IRS and are trying to trick people into revealing personal and financial information, or trying to access your financial accounts.
  • Some email scams could contain links or attachments that ultimately download malicious code (a virus) that will infect your computer, trying to access your personal information and passwords that way, or they may direct you to a bogus “IRS” form or website when you click on them.
  • If you get such an e-mail, delete it immediately, and don’t get lured by bogus site.
  • If you are directed to what seems to be an IRS site asking for your information, it never hurts to exit out of the window and open a new window where you can actually type in the IRS’s website yourself. Once at the official IRS website, you can perform a search for the web-page you were previously viewing.
I hope these tips help you to steer clear of those seeking to take advantage of unsuspecting taxpayers.

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