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Beware of Tax Scams
Tax season can be stressful. You have to find all the right documents, check all the right boxes, fork over a bunch of money, and hope you get a little something back. It only gets more stressful when you start getting calls, texts, and emails from scammers posing as tax agents who try to steal your money and information.
Don't be a victim of tax scams this year! Here's what you should know:
What are Tax Scams?
- The scammer usually claims to be an employee of the IRS or State Tax Authority in a call or email, and may offer to "help" with tax filing.
- The scams often involve an unsolicited email regarding a tax refund or bill, or threatening an audit if the bill is not paid right away.
- Scams often include official seals and use a legitimate tax service's name to seem more official. Some even link to a phony, but official-looking, website.
What are the Warning Signs?
You should be very critical of ANY emails, phone calls or other forms of contact from someone claiming to work for the IRS or state tax authority. Be especially wary if they demand immediate payment. State and federal tax authorities will NEVER:
- Initiate contact with you by phone, text, or through social media to ask for personal or financial information.
- Require that you pay your taxes with a certain payment type, such as a prepaid debit card.
- Call and demand immediate payment. The IRS or State will not call about taxes you owe without first mailing you a bill.
How Do I Deal With Scams?
1. If you recieve an email regarding federal or state tax returns/bills:
- Don't reply to the message
- Don't give out personal or financial information
- Forward the email to email@example.com and then delete the email
- Don't open any attachments or click on any links. They may contain a malicious code or virus that will infect your computer.
- For tax scams involving a state's filing office, check the office's website to see how they recommend reporting an attempted attack.
2. If you receive a call regarding federal or state returns/bills:
- Ask for a contact number and an employee badge number and then call back to verify legitimacy.
- Call the IRS or state tax authority to inquire furter and verify the accuracy of the call.
- Contact the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. Use TIGTA's IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting web page to report the incident.
- Report the phone call to the Federal Trade Commission through the FTC Complaint Assistant on their website (add "IRS Telephone Scam" to the comments section).
For more information on how to detect or report scams, visit irs.gov/uac/tax-scams-consumer-alerts or contact your credit union.
State of Nevada Department of Taxation
California Tax Service Center
State of Arizona Department of Revenue