Act Before the Hack

Avoid Hackers and Scammers During Tax Season

Tax season provides a lot of opportunities for hackers and scammers to put their skills to work to steal your identity and claim your refund. We don’t want that to happen to you, so we’re sharing a bunch of tips and resources to help you navigate tax season unscathed.

Tips and Resources for Individuals

Did you know hackers and scammers are typically pretty skilled impersonators? At this time of year, they’ll pretend to be an IRS official via calls, texts and emails. How can you tell if it’s the IRS or not? This video gives you the scoop.

Don’t be fooled by IRS imposters! Save this infographic to use as a reference when the IRS contacts you. If you think there’s any chance the person’s a phony, follow the instructions at the bottom of the infographic to report it.

Most people know that hackers and scammers use stolen Social Security numbers to file fraudulent returns. Did you know they can also use those stolen numbers to get a job? You most likely won’t find out the job fraud happened at all until tax time when the IRS notices a discrepancy between the income you’re reporting on your taxes and the income associated with your SSN! Learn more about how to identify and report tax ID theft like this from this Federal Trade Commission article.

100% guarantees don’t exist when it comes to avoiding hackers and scammers, so make sure you know how to tell if your identity has been stolen and how to report identity theft. The IRS walks you through identifying and reporting tax ID theft in this article.

Hackers and scammers don’t want you to find Identity Theft Central, the IRS’s portal about all things tax ID theft, so bookmark the page and refer back to it often. Its articles and videos will teach you how to protect your information and avoid phishing and online tax scams.

If you need to report phishing or scam attempts from an IRS imposter, do you know what to do? These FAQs from the IRS give you step by step instructions for reporting specific phishing schemes and scams.

Any time you suspect your identity has been stolen, report it! The Federal Trade Commission’s IdentityTheft.gov website will help you figure out what steps you need to take to recover your identity. It also provides prefilled forms and letters and tracks your progress.

Tips and Resources for Businesses

Are you and your business ready for the 2020 tax season? As you prepare employee W-2s and business tax forms, make sure all that sensitive information is safe from hackers and scammers. You should especially watch out for the W-2 email scam that has plagued businesses in recent years. This IRS news release has more information about the W-2 scam and other business security concerns during tax season.

How will you know that your business’s identity has been stolen? Once you find out, how do you report it? This collection of resources from the IRS will answer those questions as well as give you some ideas for preventive measures you can use to decrease the likelihood of identity theft.

Most people know that hackers and scammers use stolen Social Security numbers to file fraudulent returns. Did you know they can also use those stolen numbers to get a job, maybe even at your company? People most likely won’t find out the job fraud happened at all until tax time when the IRS notices discrepancies between their records and people’s tax returns! Learn more about how to identify and report tax ID theft like this from this Federal Trade Commission article.

One of the best ways to make identity theft less likely is to make sure your business has a data security program. This comprehensive article from the Federal Trade Commission has detailed information and tips for handling the many facets of data security and links to some other resources you and your employees will find helpful.

If you need to report phishing or scam attempts from an IRS imposter, do you know what to do? These FAQs from the IRS give you step by step instructions for reporting specific phishing schemes and scams.

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