|Fraud Prevention Newsletter
This is the next newsletter in a series of communications discussing the threat of identity theft and information-based fraud and what you can do to protect yourself. We hope you find this informative and useful.
The Internal Revenue Service issued a new warning for consumers after seeing a 400% surge in phishing and malware incidents in the first few weeks of the 2016 tax season. 2017 is shaping up to be another treacherous tax season with new schemes that try to trick you into disclosing your personally identifiable information.
The IRS has reported scams attempting to collect information about your refund, personal information, credit card data and filing status; asking you to verify your PIN information; or claiming that you owe money or are due a refund.
The incidents are all tied to emails, phone calls or even text messages that are designed to appear as official correspondence with the IRS or other tax preparation companies in an attempt to steal your information. The scams include:
- Soliciting W-2 information from payroll and human resources professionals.
- Fictitious “Federal Student Tax” scams targeting students and parents and demanding payment.
- Automated calls requesting tax payments in the form of iTunes or other gift cards.
- Pretending to be from the tax preparation industry.
- Posing as a Taxpayer Advocacy Panel agent.
The IRS DOES NOT initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text, telephone, social media or electronic communications to request personal or financial information. Their primary contact method is via the U.S. Postal Service.
If you receive a suspicious email, phone call or text from the IRS or other tax preparation companies, report it by sending it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
More information can be found on the IRS site using the following link: