Be Aware: IRS Identity Theft Fraud

March 2013 - There has been a big increase in tax refund fraud that involves identity thieves who steal Social Security numbers and other personal information.

What to Know:

  • Criminals have been obtaining Social Security numbers and other personal information through e-mail phishing schemes and by setting up illegitimate tax preparation businesses.
  • Tax schemes are promising wildly larger refunds, but are charging a very large fee. These can cost you your life savings!
  • Illegitimate emails that look like they come from the IRS contain dangerous links that can infect your computer.
  • Know that the IRS does not communicate through email.

What to Do:

  • If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Know your tax preparer; check references.
  • Do not open any attachments or links in suspicious emails. The IRS does not communicate through email.
  • Be on the watch at all times. Tax phishing scams and other schemes are practiced throughout the year.
  • Report suspicious tax activity using an IRS form found on the IRS Website.