Watch out for online tax filing scams

Posted at 8:29 AM, Feb 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-29 09:29:09-05

Many of us use online programs for filing our taxes electronically. But, unfortunately, scammers are using this as an opportunity to trap us in a scam.

Some of these scams occur when consumers accidentally click on a fake website. This can lead to excessive fees being charged, incorrect information being filed, or no filing or refund being processed at all with the IRS.

Other scams happen as a result of a consumer clicking on links in a fake email with a scammer posing as IRS or a well known tax filing site. These emails and websites may look very legitimate with logos and other information that may seem real. But, if you click on a bad link it could be loaded with malware or direct you to a fake website.

If you are filing taxes online, here are a few things that you can do to avoid getting taken:

  • Keep in mind that the IRS will never contact you via email or phone unless they are responding to your request. Before you click on websites, links, or respond to a request for information, check things out to be sure that the email or website is legitimate.
  • Pay attention to the address bar. Look for a lock symbol to the left of the address to indicate that the site is secure. Also pay attention to the address. If it does not seem to correspond with the site that you thought you were visiting or it seems to have a lot of added letters, numbers or symbols, this could be a clue that something may not be right.

If you suspect a problem or believe that you have fallen victim to tax ID theft, take immediate action. Contact the IRS to report a potential phishing attempt, or to report that you may have fallen victim to fraud.

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