As a new tax season begins, keep in mind scammers will be revving up their efforts to steal YOUR money. The scams come in different forms: phishing emails, harassing phone calls, and tax return identity theft.
Here are some steps to help keep your identity and money safe:
- File taxes early to avoid scammers
- Be cautious about tax-related emails. Do not use links within the email. Instead, go to the website and log directly into your account for relevant information
- Hang up on IRS impersonator phone calls
- Report suspicious emails or phone calls ASAP
- Shred bank and tax documents before throwing away
- Update your security software
The IRS offers an option called Identity Protection PIN (IP PIN) that assigns a unique six-digit code to eligible taxpayers that helps limit fraudulent tax returns. There is more information available at https://www.irs.gov/identity-theft-fraud-scams/get-an-identity-protection-pin.
Here are some reminders about the IRS. They will NEVER:
- call about past taxes without having mailed several notices first
- call to demand payment with threats to involve law enforcement and have you arrested
- call or email asking you to divulge personal and/or financial information
- require payment without allowing you to appeal or even question the amount due
- require you to use a specific payment method like a pre-paid debit card
- ask for your credit/debit card and/or bank information over the phone
Sources: Internal Revenue Service
This content brought to you in partnership with the AgeWell Middle Tennessee. AgeWell Middle Tennessee champions informed and positive aging and serves as the area’s catalyst for collaborative solutions. Visit their website to learn more about the work they are doing and how you can get involved.