Many American households are awaiting coronavirus stimulus relief from the IRS, but agencies have been warning about a rise in tax scams that could plague taxpayers.
According to the tax agency, thousands of people have lost millions of dollars – along with their personal information – to tax scams. Fraud can be initiated through email, by telephone or regular mail, and it can target not only individuals but also businesses, payroll and even tax professionals.
And with stimulus checks on the way, fraudsters have a new wave of opportunity to steal your money and information. Some people may be required to give the tax agency additional information – like their direct deposit account details – or other personal data if they do not regularly need to file taxes.
As previously reported by FOX Business, the FBI has recently warned about a number of ways scammers are leveraging the coronavirus pandemic to steal both money and personal information.
Those scams include fake CDC emails, phishing emails asking for personal information in order to get a check from the government or to make charitable contributions and counterfeit tests and equipment.
Thieves also have a longer tax season to prey on victims now that the deadline has been extended until July 15.
Here are some other scams to watch out for:
Social Security number-related scams: Thieves claim your Social Security number has been suspended or canceled.
Scams involving natural disasters: Thieves try to take advantage of taxpayers who want to help out victims of natural disasters
“Ghost” tax return preparers: Dishonest preparers who trick taxpayers out of money
IRS impersonation scams: Thieves pretend to be IRS representatives and often say victims owe money
Soliciting W-2 and information from human resource professionals
The IRS wants consumers to know it will never initiate contact through social media, email or text messages to request personal or financial information.
More tips are available on the IRS’ website.