By Carol Kando-Pineda, guest blogger
Now that tax season is underway, many Americans are combing their financial files and other personal information to prepare their tax returns. Identity thieves also are busy, trying to “phish’ for your personal information.
View The Pentagon Channel video referencing IRS Impersonation:
According to the Internal Revenue Service, the number of scammers impersonating IRS officials balloons this time of year. The Federal Trade Commission says be skeptical if you get a call or email claiming to be from the IRS. These unsolicited communications probably are the work of con artists trying to steal your personal information to commit identity theft. They may ask for your social security number, bank account number or another piece of personal information.
- The IRS doesn’t send unsolicited emails to taxpayers about tax account matters. Filing a tax return is the only way to apply for a tax refund.
- If you get an email out of the blue that prompts you to call a phone number or reply with your personal information, don’t call back or click on any links. Clicking likely will take you to an official-looking – but phony – website. Or, the link may take you to a legitimate site, but install spyware or some other form of badware on the way. Forward the email to email@example.com, and then delete it from your inbox and trash.
- The only official IRS website is irs.gov.
- If you think you’ve been scammed, file a complaint at ftc.gov or call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP. If your identity might have been stolen, visit ftc.gov/idtheft or call 1-877-ID-THEFT.
Visit OnGuardOnline.gov/phishing for more information about avoiding phishing scams.