Beware Of These 4 Kinds Of Tax Scams That Are Going Around

Updated: February 24, 2020
If tax season doesn’t suck enough, we are here to flash a massive warning — there are a lot of tax scams going around, and it is incredibly important to be on the lookout.
How big of an issue is this exactly? The IRS identified $1.9 billion in tax fraud during the most recent fiscal year. And that includes all kinds of fraud.

Here are the biggest scams to be aware of so you can avoid them:

1. Phone Scams

Here’s how this scam typically goes: You’ll get a phone call threatening arrest, deportation, or that you’ll get your license revoked if you don’t pay a tax bill. The scammers will usually demand that you pay via wire transfer, prepaid debit card or gift card. In other instances, scammers will use this scheme to get people to fork over personal information.

2. Phishing Scams

This is similar to the phone scam, and scammers will use e-mail, text messages, and even social media to get people to fork over their personal information or to click on a link, which then triggers the installation of malware onto a computer. People are very creative, and this is a big one to be careful of because these scammers are usually impersonating banks or government organizations and can seem totally legitimate, so these scams can be tough to suss out.

3. Identity Theft

Here’s how this one typically goes: Someone will steal your Social Security number or your tax id number. With that number, they will then file a fraudulent tax return to claim a tax refund.

4. Accounting Scams

Scammers in this scenario will pose as tax professionals in order to rip off someone’s refund, social security number, or to do something we haven’t even thought of (again, it’s so important to remember at all times that scammers are creative).

A Few Things To Remember:

  1. Don’t give your personal information to just anyone — but especially not to anyone asking for it over the phone.
  2. The IRS usually only contacts people by mail. If you are getting contacted another way, something might be off.
  3. Research any accountants you work with to make sure they are reputable.
  4. Be careful of the links you click on in an email, and of downloading anything if you aren’t sure what the attachment is.

Feature Image: Twenty20