As tax season rages on, cyber criminals are targeting taxpayers with new scams. After a 60 percent jump in so-called phishing scams in 2018, the IRS is warning us to be extra vigilant this year. Hackers are using the advancements in technology to target taxpayers year-round but tax season is prime phishing season.
Scammers imitate the IRS, TurboTax and other tax preparation companies in an effort to gain sensitive information. Below are some tips to help prevent tax season scams in 2019:
Check sender details
If you receive an email that looks suspicious, check for more details from the person sending the email. Depending on email clients you can view more details from the sender to determine the validity of the email. Scammers have become very adept at using new email technology for scams, at times using an email that is just slightly different than a valid email, so make sure you know who you are exchanging emails with.
File early to avoid scammers
Many of the scams rely on you not having filed your taxes yet, so if you receive an email after you have already filed you can be sure that it is not legitimate.
Report suspicious email activity
Suspicious emails can be forwarded directly to email@example.com.
Refrain from clicking on emails that contain sensitive information or responding to an email requesting it. If you receive an email from TurboTax or another tax program, go directly to the website and check your account.