Taxpayers, beware: More scams surface

Irs_logoIt's tax season, which means the scam artists are slithering out from underneath their rocks again.

The IRS has added five more scams to the ever-growing list of grifts the agency is monitoring. Keep an eye out for these new scams, each of which uses the IRS's name as a lure:

  1. The rebate phone call: The swindler calls taxpayers and tells them they are eligible for a rebate if they file their tax returns early. All they need to do, of course, is provide the caller with their bank account information so the rebate can be direct-deposited.
  2. The refund e-mail: This fraudulent e-mail tries to convince taxpayers that they are eligible for a refund and will receive it if they fill out an online form, which asks them for their personal information.
  3. The audit e-mail: Taxpayers are told they are about to be audited, and that they must provide the e-mailer with personal and bank account information.
  4. The changes-in-tax-laws e-mail: This e-mail tells victims where they can receive information on the most recent changes in tax laws. Sounds innocent enough, but the IRS believes that clicking on the links in these e-mails will install malware on a victim's computer. This malicious software can allow e-mails to gain access to personal information.
  5. The paper check phone call: In this scam, a swindler calls a taxpayer and explains that the IRS has sent the taxpayer a check, but since the check has not been cashed, the scammer asks to verify the taxpayer's bank account information.

The IRS offers extensive information on how taxpayers can protect themselves from these and other related scams.


Bill Sheridan