Tax scams take many forms and, according to the Internal Revenue Service, they usually proliferate during the tax season. So the agency is warning citizens to be aware.
The IRS says perpetrators often pose as IRS personnel in everything from email refund schemes to phone impersonation. The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email or any other mode of electronic communications to request personal or financial information. So, if you get a request for personal identification numbers, passwords or similar confidential access information for credit card, bank or other financial accounts, do not provide it. You are being scammed.
Other suggestions made by the IRS to protect taxpayers against scams and identity theft include:
- Don't carry your Social Security card or any documents that include your Social Security Number (SSN) or individual Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN).
- Don't give a business your SSN or TIN unless it is absolutely required.
- Don't give personal information over the phone, through the mail or on the Internet unless you have initiated the contact and you are sure of the recipient.
"Taxpayers should also be very careful when choosing a tax preparer," the IRS said. "While most preparers provide excellent service to their clients, a few unscrupulous return preparers file false and fraudulent tax returns and ultimately defraud their clients."