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How To Recognize and Avoid IRS Scams

Every year during tax season, people lose millions of dollars to IRS scams. Here are some tips on how to recognize and avoid IRS scams.

What Is an IRS Scam?

An IRS scam occurs when a criminal impersonates a government official, debt collector or member of the IRS to trick victims into sending them money or providing sensitive information.

Common IRS Scams

  • Tax-related identity fraud. Criminals steal your personal information and file a tax return in your name to steal your tax return.

  • Fraudulent phone calls. Scammers pretend to be the IRS and ask you to send wire transfers, gift cards or other forms of payment.

  • Phishing. Criminals try to access your sensitive information by sending you texts, calls or emails that look like they’re from the IRS.

For more information on common tax-related scams, visit the FBI’s Dirty Dozen webpage.

Create strong passwords.

  • Use only secure, private Wi-Fi connections.

  • Listen for threatening messages.

  • Avoid sharing your social security number.

  • Remember that the IRS will never contact you over digital channels (such as text messages, email, etc.).

  • Research tax preparers ahead of time.

Tips For Responding To IRS Scams


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