Tax Season 2019 – IRS ‘Dirty Dozen’ Tax Scams

Published On March 12, 2019 | By Tom Huskerson | Tax Season

In case you didn’t know there are two major holidays that cyber crooks celebrate. Christmas and tax season. Tax season is upon us and the crooks are working overtime.

Most tax scams are known and they may vary a little but not much. And of course cyber criminals are alway thinking of new ways to rob you. So the IRS is issuing warnings to individuals and professional tax preparers to be aware.

IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig said, “Taxpayers should be on constant guard for these phishing schemes, which can be tricky and cleverly disguised to look like it’s the IRS. Watch out for emails and other scams posing as the IRS, promising a big refund or personally threatening people. Don’t open attachments and click on links in emails. Don’t fall victim to phishing or other common scams.”

Among the latest scams the IRS has noticed is one in which the scammer, after getting personal information from a victim, uses a taxpayer’s bank account against them.

According to the IRS, “After stealing personal data and filing fraudulent tax returns, criminals use taxpayers’ bank accounts to direct deposit tax refunds. Thieves then use various tactics to reclaim the refund from the taxpayer, including falsely claiming to be from a collection agency or the IRS.” The IRS is warning taxpayers to be vigilant for this new variation. Look for this new phishing attack by checking you bank accounts for unexpected direct deposits regularly. And remember, if someone is asking you for money, you should be asking the questions!

For tax professionals they need to be on the look out for phishing scams as well. The agency is warning tax pros of “advanced” schemes targeted at them. For example look for scams like business email compromise or spoofing. Using these techniques, crooks can pose as a business seeking payment on an invoice, an employee needing to re-route a direct deposit or someone a taxpayer has entrusted to perform a wire transfer. Remember that we are dealing with professional criminals and they can be clever with replica emails and sound very convincing on the phone.

Remember, if a taxpayer or tax professional suspects, even slightly, a phishing attempt using the IRS’s name or association, they should report it to phishing@irs.gov. Another fact to keep in mind is that the IRS generally will not contact taxpayers by email to request personal or financial information. Nor will they reach out to you via a text messages or use Facebook, Twitter or other social media channels.

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About The Author

Tom Huskerson Bio Born in Richmond Virginia Tom Huskerson is a military veteran who settled in California after his discharge. Tom attended Santa Barbara City College where he began his writing career as a campus reporter. He worked as an intern news reporter for the Santa Barbara News-Press writing feature stories before moving on to San Francisco. At San Francisco State University Tom studied broadcast communications and began to focus on the Internet. He completed his graduate thesis on Internet advertising. Tom was the first student to ever focus on the Internet as a graduate student at San Francisco State University. After graduation he went to work for Zona Research in California’s Silicone Valley. As a research associate Tom supported senior analyst writing on the latest developments in the Internet industry. During the dot com boom Tom worked for several web businesses as a market researcher and analyst. As a writer and researcher Tom has authored various technical works including a training program for Charles Schwab security. Other projects included professional presentations on workplace violence and hiring security contractors. Tom has also written both fiction and non-fiction works and blogging for a travel website. He has published two books of short stories and completed two novels. Tom is the owner of Scribe of Life Literature and EbonyCandle.com. Tom is not the chief editor for the OnTechStreet. com. A news and information blog that focuses on tech news for African-Americans. The blog is the result of his desire to inform the African American community of the dangers and benefits of the cyber age. In his blog Tom reports on information security, new and analysis, scams and hoaxes, legal happenings and various topics that arise from the age of information. Tom believes that technology is a necessary tool for black people and they should know what is happening. Tom writes believing that techno speak is for the professional and that valuable information can be communicated using plain language. As a result he has embraced the motto, Less Tech, More Knowledge.

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