identity theft

Beware Of These Recent Tax Scams

The tax season means a new chance for criminals to place new fraudulent schemes into operation to commit identity theft and refund fraud. As tax professionals, the Thorgood Law Firm has an ongoing commitment to maintaining vigilance for such illegal practices and protecting the sensitive, personal data of our clients.

Every tax season, there is an increase in schemes that target innocent taxpayers by email, by phone and on-line. All taxpayers and tax professionals should be on the lookout for these fraudulent, deceptive schemes.

Public Awareness: “Taxes. Security. Together” Campaign

The Internal Revenue Service, the states, and the tax industry are working together in an unprecedented partnership to protect taxpayers’ federal and state tax accounts from identity thieves. The “Taxes. Security. Together” awareness campaign is an effort to better inform taxpayers about the need to protect personal, tax and financial data home and online.

The IRS, state tax agencies, and the tax industry also hosted a National Tax Security Awareness Week Dec. 5 to Dec. 8, 2016. In addition, it launched a Protect your Clients; Protect Yourself campaign to raise awareness among tax professionals that they too are increasingly the targets of criminals.

Beware Of Scams During Tax Filing Season

It’s tax filing season and criminals are in full force trying to implement fraudulent schemes and take advantage of the multitudes of personal data and information floating around the internet, mail, and phone lines. Taxpayers should be aware of the following tips to ensure that they do not become the victims of these various internet and telemarketing scams, since the financial ramifications may be devastating.

Taxpayers should remember that the IRS will NEVER:

  • Call to demand immediate payment over the phone, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed a notice of an amount due.

Parents Beware Of Scams Aimed At Students

In August, in anticipation of the new school year, the IRS warned taxpayers about scam phone calls directed at parents and students demanding payments for fake, non-existent taxes.

These scam artists call students and demand that they make immediate payment arrangements such as wiring money to satisfy a fake tax bill.

These callers often refer to a “federal student tax,” which, of course, doesn’t exist. When those targeted resist in any way, the caller then threatens to report the individual to the police, even stating that the consequence of immediate noncompliance is arrest. These types of cons are becoming more common each school year just around the time school begins in the late summer as scammers look for prime opportunities to target their victims.

IRS Launches New Campaign to Increase Awareness Of Data Theft Risks

Recently the IRS together with state tax agencies and the nation’s tax preparers warned that criminals are focusing their cyber theft crimes on tax professionals. Anyone that is a potential target of these cybercriminals should respond appropriately to protect clients from identity theft.

With this issuance of caution, the IRS provided new information containing safeguards to help tax professionals protect clients’ data. Known as the Protect Your Clients; Protect Yourself campaign, it’s an expansion of the Security Summit’s 2015 Taxes. Security. Together program aimed at increasing public awareness for using security software, creating stronger passwords and avoiding phishing emails.

TEN WAYS TO PREVENT IDENTITY THEFT

TEN WAYS TO PREVENT IDENTITY THEFTThe damages caused by identity theft may take years to fully remedy. Here are ten tips for avoiding identity theft:

1) Protect and monitor your credit. Regularly check your credit report to see if any fraudulent credit cards or accounts have been opened in your name. Monitor your credit by taking advantage of free credit reports and consider purchasing additional intermittent reports for continuous oversight of your credit. If and when necessary, place fraud alerts and credit freezes on your account.

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