Beware of tax fraud and protect yourself

By | March 28, 2023
Black background with text that reads "Don't fall for a tax scam." There is a stick figure with an outstretched hand implying "halt" overlaid with a red circle with a line through it to indicate not to do something.
Image by Jonathan Hammond from Pixabay)

It’s tax season! As you read this, criminals, fraudsters, and identity thieves could be working to file fraudulent tax returns in your name and steal your tax refund. According to their latest report, IRS Criminal Investigation has identified over $5.7 billion in tax fraud in 2022 alone. ITS Information Assurance (IA) offers some tips to help protect yourself from becoming part of this statistic:

  • File your taxes as soon as possible to reduce the likelihood of criminals filing under your name.
  • Beware of phishing emails and phone scams. The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text messages, or social media channels, nor do they call to demand immediate payment. And they never demand payment via gift card.
  • Be suspicious of ads for tax filing services that promise you large or expedited tax refunds. These are often scams to steal your personal information.
  • Take advantage of extra protection from the IRS. The IRS offers an Identity Protection PIN (IP PIN) to all taxpayers who can properly verify their identities. The IP PIN is a six-digit number that prevents someone else from filing a tax return using your Social Security number. It is known only to you and the IRS and helps verify your identity when you file your electronic or paper tax return. Visit the IRS website to get an IP PIN.

Check out Beware of Tax Fraud for more details and links to helpful information from the IRS, and share the info with your colleagues, family, and friends.