Reducing the Risk of Loss During Tax Filing Season

Reducing the Risk of Loss During Tax Filing Season


Produced by Jay Slagel, VP of Risk Management at Allied Solutions

 

Tax filing season is around the corner, which means tax scams are also on their way.

Here is how tax scams typically occur: Scammers send a phishing email or call to lure the victim to give up personal and confidential information. The fraudsters then use this information to commit identity theft and/or to steal money from the victim.

 

Below are steps you and your consumers should follow to protect against the impending threat of tax  fraud:

  • Keep personal data safe. Be vigilant with personal information. Taxpayers should use strong, unique passwords for each online account and avoid routinely carrying a Social Security card. Avoid unsecured Wi-Fi in public locations while shopping.
  • Avoid phishing emails by data thieves. Learn to recognize and avoid phishing emails, threatening phone calls and texts from thieves. People should never click on links or download attachments from unknown or suspicious email addresses.
  • Take steps to protect data after a breach. There are specific things that data theft victims can do after a criminal steals their information. This includes using credit monitoring services, putting a freeze on accounts and frequently resetting passwords.
  • Avoid the W-2 scam. Employers can take steps to protect their employees’ data from the growing W-2 email scam. Employers and payroll offices should educate employees about how to recognize an email from a thief who wants to gain access to sensitive employee data so they do not respond to these scam emails.
  • Don’t supply personal or financial information over the phone or via email, even if the caller/sender claims to be from the IRS. The IRS will never initiate contact by telephone or email to ask for information.
    • If you get a suspicious email forward it to phising@irs.gov & delete the email; do not reply to the message, open any attachments or click on any links.
    • If you get a suspicious call hang up immediately and call the IRS directly to check on the status of your taxes: 800-829-1040.
  • Report any potential scam attempts:
    • Report scams to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) via their web form or by phone: 800-366-4484.
    • Report scams to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on their Complaint Assistant website and reference “IRS Scam” in the notes.
  • Beware of scams against employers. Just like individuals, businesses may have their identities stolen. Small businesses and large businesses alike should protect their employer identification numbers.