Beware of Tax Scams Using the IRS Name, and How to Identify Them February 22, 2014 The scams that will plaque tax payers this year will be inevitable, and numerous. Everything from false IRS impersonations to emails requesting PINS to ghost websites will descend upon the millions of tax payers. Unfortunately, thousands this year will fall prey to the scams. So, how to distinguish the scams? Knowing how the IRS communicates should make things simpler. According to the IRS, here are four features that can help you distinguish: • the IRS does not initiate contact taxpayers via email, either to request persona or financial information • the IRS will not initiate correspondence via any type of electoni information, including texting or social med channels • the IRS will not ask for personal identification numbers, passwords, or other confidential information • the IRS will not ask for credit car, bank or other financial accounts As always, don’t open any suspected attachments. If you do encounter a fraud scheme, forward the email to email@example.com or visits this page of the IRS fraud website http://www.irs.gov/uac/Report-Phishing Since it is tax season, identity theft increases. The IRS also put forward the following advice: • Don’t carry your Social Security card or any documents that include your Social Security number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). • Don’t give a business your SSN or ITIN just because they ask. Give it only when required. • Check your credit report every 12 months. • Secure personal information in your home. • Protect your personal computers by using firewalls and anti-spam/virus software, updating security patches and changing passwords for Internet accounts. • Don’t give personal information over the phone, through the mail or on the Internet unless you have initiated the contact and are sure of the recipient.