GCB Cyber Security Tips for IRS and Tax Scams

Submitted by Sarah Barnett on January 22, 2020

It is that time of year again: Tax Season. Every year, scammers take advantage of innocent taxpayers that are eagerly awaiting a tax return.
Last year, the IRS reported a significant increase in phishing attempts to steal money and tax information.

IRS and Tax Scams
Scammers have numerous tricks when it comes to stealing your money and/or information. Here are a few scams that have been reported:

  • Emails from someone posing as tax service company spoofs emails and uses stolen company logos. If you respond to the email with personal data or tax information, they can easily steal your money.
  • Scammers send similar emails containing hyperlinks that lead to malicious websites or send fake attachments that download malware or viruses to your computer.
  • Callers can pose as IRS representatives stating you owe the IRS money and a payment is due immediately. The callers use tactics or threats such as: individuals will be arrested, deportation, or suspension of business or driver’s license.

These are only a few examples and scammers are constantly coming up with new ways to try and steal your personal information and/or money.

How can you identify a Scam?
Always remember the following year around:

  • The IRS will always mail a bill before calling you about taxes owed.
  • The IRS will never ask for credit/debit card numbers over the phone.
  • The IRS will never immediately threaten to arrest you for not your paying taxes.
  • The IRS will always offer the opportunity to question or appeal the amount owed before demanding your payment.
  • The IRS does not use emails or text messages to discuss personal tax matters, such as taxes owed or tax refunds.

Stop and take a moment to consider the email and its legitimacy. Then take another moment to consider what Personally Identifiable Information (PII) the email is requesting. You can always go straight to the IRS website to find out any information.