It’s no big news that the IRS scam never fails to rear its ugly head when tax season comes around. But now with the season behind us, or at least we only hope most of you hit the mark on April 18, another year has passed where we’ve dodged the scammer bullet until they try and sneak their way back into our lives next year, right?
Unfortunately, scammers have found a way to weasel their way back into our lives by disguising themselves not only as the IRS, but as tax software companies too, reports the IRS. You’ll recognize these heavy hitters as companies like H&R Block, Turbo Tax, & Tax Act, just to name a few.
From unsolicited phone calls, emails, and even text messages, scammers are getting very persistent and aren’t just targeting people during tax season but have kicked it into high-gear and are contacting us all year round.
One week after the April 18 deadline, the number of people who reported an experience with a tax scammer went up 35% over the week prior, and there’s been an 82%(!!) uptick in unwanted calls from the same time last year.
Scammers posing as “legitimate” tax preparers will ask for your personal information in hopes of filing a fraudulent tax return under your name, giving them the ability to steal your hard earned cash from right under you. (How rude!)
All it takes is a few pieces of information regarding your refund, filing status, a personal information confirmation, ordering transcripts, or a PIN information verification, and you’ve signed your identity away to them in a matter of minutes.
Just like the IRS scam, don’t let these so-called representatives catch you with your guard down. If you get a call asking for anything that resembles any type of information above and get that gut feeling that something just doesn’t feel right, hang-up immediately and contact your tax preparer so they’re aware of the suspicious activity.