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22nd of March 2017

Gadgets



Don't Fall For These Last-Minute Tax Season Scams

These scams aim to trick taxpayers into handing over sensitive data such as passwords, Social Security numbers, and bank account or credit card numbers.

The Best Tax Preparation Software of 2017

Taxpayers aren't the only ones looking to cash in this tax filing season.

The Internal Revenue Service along with state tax agencies on Friday issued a warning for both tax professionals and taxpayers of phishing scams "requesting last-minute deposit changes for refunds or account updates."

"As the 2017 tax filing season winds down to the April 18 deadline, tax-related scams of various sorts are at their peak," the agency wrote. "The IRS urged both tax professionals and taxpayers to be on guard against suspicious activity."

The IRS said cybercriminals have been employing some new tactics this year. One new scam, for instance, sees the criminals pose as taxpayers asking their tax preparer to make a last-minute change to their refund destination, sending it to a prepaid debit card instead. The IRS is urging tax preparers to call clients and verbally confirm the request should someone email with a last-minute change.

The IRS is also recommending that tax professionals "change and strengthen" their email passwords to protect the accounts used to exchange sensitive information with clients.

"This is also the time of year when taxpayers may see scam emails from their tax software provider or others asking them to update online accounts," the IRS said. "Taxpayers should learn to recognize phishing emails, calls or texts that pose as familiar organizations such as banks, credit card companies, tax software providers or even the IRS." These scams aim to trick taxpayers into handing over sensitive data such as passwords, Social Security numbers, and bank account or credit card numbers.

Always remember: The IRS does not send unsolicited emails or request sensitive data via email. Plus, you should never open an attachment or link from an unknown or fishy source. If you have received a suspicious email, you can forward it to the IRS at phishing@irs.gov.

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