What Are the Best Ways to Protect Ourselves Against Tax Scammers?

​​The Internal Revenue Service uncovered $2.3 billion in tax fraud in 2016, and experts fear that this year’s total might be significantly higher given that many Americans will be filing their taxes online for the first time using uniform tax calculator.

According to McAfee’s 2021 Consumer Security Mindset Report, over 63 percent of Americans want to file their taxes online this year. About 12% of them will be first-time filers who do their taxes entirely online. According to Terry Hicks, exec vp of consumer business at McAfee, scammers are just waiting for this opportunity. He explains, “They adapt to the circumstances, and right now a popular target is federal stimulus money.”

Hicks argues that as people become more reliant on the internet, it is only prudent to take certain precautions to ensure their safety. It’s preferable to avoid having to remedy an issue altogether rather than having to address it afterwards. This tax season, avoid becoming a victim by following these five preventative measures.

1). Start Your Paperwork Early

Get your tax returns in as soon as possible if you haven’t already done so. Each year, identity thieves file fraudulent tax returns using stolen personal information, such as Social Security numbers, to get their hands on refunds before the official filing deadline.

Hicks refers to this as “preventive care.” Hackers are less likely to submit false tax returns on your behalf if you do so early, he argues. As a duplicate or prevents you from e-filing because the system believes you’ve previously filed, you may need to fill out and submit an Identity Theft Affidavit. Visit to acquire a customised recovery plan that may involve notifying credit bureaus, the FTC, and even local police, as suggested by the IRS.

2). Try Not To Click Anything While You’re Looking

Email phishing attempts are often used by fraudsters to steal sensitive information. If a hacker wants your personal information, they may send you an email that seems like it came from a trusted source (such a retailer, a friend, or even your own inbox), but really leads to a fake website.

Even while these emails happen all year, they tend to increase in frequency and intensity at tax time. Email tax return links are a regular target of phishing attacks. Hicks warns that you should be wary of any unsolicited communications that seem suspicious. He continues, “Don’t open any attachments or click on any links.” Email security expert Tim Sadler recommends always verifying the sender, especially for messages from known senders. Have you double checked the email address with the name? As a result, “attackers will commonly take advantage of the fact that mobile email simply displays a display name — as opposed to the entire email address,” he explains, by switching the display name to someone the victim recognises. Keep in mind that the Internal Revenue Service will not correspond with you by email. When there’s an issue with your taxes, the IRS will only write you in the mail.

3). Keep a Tight Eye on Urls

Scammers may also get personal information by attracting unwary users to phoney websites that steal their data via various means. They have become quite good at seeming to be legitimate websites, especially those offering do-it-yourself tax services.

You should pay close attention to the address bar’s URL. Look for typos and unusual domain endings in addition to the

Hicks recommends making it routine to check the address bar whenever you go to a new website. Type the address into your browser’s address bar instead of clicking on a link in an email or search engine result.

4). Don’t Believe the IRS When They Call

Tax scams sometimes include con artists posing as IRS officials and threatening victims with jail or deportation if they do not pay a fictitious tax debt. The IRS has included these in its 2020 “Dirty Dozen” list of the most common and potentially damaging tax frauds. Spoofed phone numbers from the IRS Taxpayer Advocate Service have been used by scammers in the past to make their calls seem more official. Scammers disguised their calls as coming from the IRS so that caller ID would pick them up.

Remember that the IRS will never contact you by phone or recorded message to demand quick payment through prepaid debit cards, gift cards, or wire transfers. The IRS will usually send you a bill in the mail before taking any legal action. To prevent prying eyes from seeing your social media accounts, you should: 

5). According to McAfee,

Social media assaults are a novel and rapidly expanding kind of fraud. Social networking sites such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are mined by fraudsters for personal details about their targets, such as their age, family, location, and interests. If hackers get this information, they may impersonate you online and gain access to whatever account you have, including your IRS e-file profile and online banking sites, by just guessing the answers to your security questions. Make sure your social media accounts are as secure as possible. Keep the amount of private information you give to a minimum if you insist on making your profile public. For example, if you use your pet’s name as a password, you shouldn’t disclose that fact.

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