Don’t fall for Tax Season Cyber Scams
As we are upon another tax season, scams involving tax filing always increase in intensity. Cybercriminals use various methods ranging from phishing emails to phone scams. Many will try to intimidate their victims into paying them “taxes owed” by being aggressive and demanding immediacy. All taxpayers and government employees need to be extra vigilant for possible schemes and outright fraud during this time. Keep in mind the following:
The IRS will NEVER do any of the following:
- Initiate a phone call or email to ask for personal information.
- Call or email you to demand immediate payment using a specific payment method, such as a prepaid debit card, gift card, or wire transfer. Generally, Treasury will first send a bill through the U.S. mail to any taxpayer who owes taxes.
- Threaten to immediately bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have the taxpayer arrested for not paying. You may have gotten one or more of these calls in recent years. Don’t fall for it.
- Demand that taxes be paid without giving the taxpayer the opportunity to question or appeal the amount owed.
- Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
Cybercriminals often alter caller ID numbers and emails to make it look like the State’s Treasury Department, the IRS, or another official agency is contacting a taxpayer. Scammers may use employee titles, a person’s name, address, and other personal information to sound official.
Taxpayers who are contacted by a scammer should immediately cease the call or delete the email.
Please check out our Security entries and Tech Tips articles for additional security tips and information. If you have any family members that you worry would fall for these scams, please talk to them.
As always, keep Chesapeake’s technology resources safe and secure. Think before you click!