- February 25, 2019
- Posted by: oneplacefinancial
- Category: Tips
Every tax season, there are reports of people scamming the unsuspecting public. With tax season upon us, it’s time to start getting organized. It’s time to start getting all the paperwork together.
Beware of frauds schemes this tax season. Here’s what to watch out for:
The IRS and financial institutions have been warning the general public about such emails for years. Phishing emails continue to be a problem. Fraudsters send emails that masquerade around like IRS emails. Other phishing sites could ask you to update your account. The website will look official and many get tricked into revealing their private information for online criminals to steal. They could file fake returns in your name or initiate new accounts.
The latest in the land of phishing are emails sent by accounts pretending to be associations, like a lawyers association or opticians association. Those sending the emails often use the official names of these professional groups. Once again these emails ask you to update your information, leaving you vulnerable.
Phone calls from the ‘IRS’
Many individuals claim to have been contacted by people who say they work for the “IRS”. In reality, the IRS will never initiate communication via a phone call first.
Such scams are looking to target the elderly and those who come from overseas, people who aren’t aware of such schemes. These fraudsters even have the local IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center’s number to show up as their caller ID, which gets people to believe the calls are legitimate.
Victims are threatened to make payments or risk being arrested. Many fall for such threats and pay up immediately due to fear of being sent to jail.
The IRS never contacts individuals in such a way. They also never demand immediate payment. They have a protocol to follow which includes warning letters and emails. In order to collect the amount you owe, the IRS can simply file returns on your home, bank account, and wages. More serious measures are seizing your assets in the event of non-payment.
Using public Wi-Fi to harvest information
Anyone can access data on a public wireless internet network. Make sure you aren’t using public Wi-Fi when filing tax returns. Experts also urge people to avoid using public networks to bank with. As a professional dealing with sensitive data every day, use a VPN to work on. A VPN safeguards your information when on a public network.
Experts urge people to never fall for the “you have won something, click here to find out”. Many people still get scammed by such emails. They end up opening the link and immediately their information is being passed onto a criminal. The IRS will never send you any prize for paying your taxes!
One Place Financial offers personalized solutions are great service to our clients. If you are looking for a tax consultant in Bellflower, CA, visit us. We also provide sales tax filing services. Contact us at (562) 867-5200.