It’s tax time again. And, unfortunately, it’s the time for scams. Beware of tax scams that target you with requests claiming to be from the IRS. Always remember that your bank and other trusted financial partners will not ask for personal financial information that they already know about you. If someone contacts you demanding this type of information, it is always a good idea to call your local bank on your own terms to investigate.
Here is a list of unreasonable demands that scammers often make:
SCAM TACTIC #1: Fill out the attached form within 24 hours. Ask yourself, “What is so urgent that it cannot wait?” Verify the source of the request. Cyber-criminals can make email messages look like they are from legitimate sources. Verify information on your terms; not the terms of the crook.
SCAM TACTIC #2: You are being audited please provide the following personal information. Again, ask yourself what could be so urgent that it cannot wait for you to contact your tax preparer or other trusted authority.
SCAM TACTIC #3: To obtain your refund faster please complete the attached form. Any request proclaiming a sense of urgency should be investigated first.
SCAM TACTIC #4: We have just discovered that you overpaid your tax please provide your bank account information for direct deposit to your account. Many times scammers use improper grammar as noted by the run-on sentence above. Again, any request demanding immediate action should be investigated first.
Remember, do NOT open suspicious emails or click on links in them. Scammers are con-artists and they are creative! Cybercriminals can “spoof” the name of the criminal so that any email can look as if it is from your best friend. If you have hesitation about sharing personal financial information, take time to think it over and contact your local bank or law enforcement. Banks and other trusted financial professionals will not ask for information that they already have about you such as account numbers and social security numbers.