What the Tech? Protecting yourself from tax scams
Technology is giving scammers the upper hand in trying to steal your income tax return. The I.R.S says phishing schemes are up again this year as bad guys are using phone calls, e-mail and websites to scam people out of their money.
Phone calls are used many times with scammers calling people at random and leaving messages that they're being investigated for tax fraud or behind in their taxes. Many times, they ask the taxpayer to withdraw money from their account and send it to them. Some have even asked that the person answering go to their bank and meet someone in the parking lot to give them cash at less than what they claim is due to settle the so-called IRS complaint.
The use of email is increasingly being used by scammers who are sending notices using the official logo of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and stating the person either owes money or has money coming to them. The email asks the receiver to click on a link for more information, and then asks them to mail cash to an address to settle the bogus claim.
Many times emails are sent with links to websites that install malware on the unsuspecting taxpayer. The malware can steal a person's identity, bank and credit card account information, usernames and passwords and contact information of their friends. Some malware will also record keystrokes in the future, all without the person knowing what's going on.
The I.R.S warns taxpayers of these scams and instructs people to never click on a link, speak to someone on the phone or open an e-mail no matter how legitimate it looks. The I.R.S says it is not its practice to send taxpayers information over the internet.
If you do receive any of these emails or phone calls, click here to report it to the IRS.