Cybercriminals typically increase their activity in the first part of the year through phone scams and email phishing schemes. These scammers try to obtain personal information using different tricks and tactics so they can file income tax returns and claim refunds on behalf of unsuspecting taxpayers. Some scammers may also allege a taxpayer owes taxes and aggressively demand payment for a quick payout.
Taxpayers need to be on high alert for possible scams and schemes during this time of year and throughout the income tax filing season. When taxpayers proactively look for scams, they are less likely to be a victim of a tax-related identity theft and other cybercriminal activities.
Remember, the Internal Revenue Service and State Treasury Departments will never:
Cybercriminals often alter caller ID numbers and emails to make it look like State Treasury Departments, the IRS or another official agency is contacting a taxpayer. Scammers may use employee titles, a person's name, address and other personal information to sound official.
If you are contacted by a scammer, immediately cease the call or delete the email and report the case to the IRS through the web or by calling 800 366 4484.
If you have any questions, please contact your local UHY LLP professional.