Avoiding tax scams and keeping personal information safe
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - Regardless if you are looking forward to it, or dreading it, tax season is among us.
IRS Criminal Investigation said they see a lot of identity theft scams around this time.
“The thing with criminals that is common across the board -- they don’t discriminate,” said Supervisory Special Agent James Marcy of the IRS Criminal Investigation Branch. “They don’t care who you are, where you are from, what college, town, business you run, operate or work at; their primary focus is to get your money or get your personally identifiable information to do bad things with that.”
Special Agent Marcy said one of the best ways to avoid your personal information falling into the wrong hands is finding a reputable tax expert to work with.
If you file taxes on your own, ensure you are using a trustworthy tax website.
The IRS will never reach out via phone to ask for sensitive information, nor will they make threats. Special Agent Marcy says these scams are becoming more common.
If you are concerned with tax fraud or filing incorrect information, the IRS website has plenty of resources. There is a guide that tells you what steps you can take if you believe you are a victim of identity theft.
“In 2021, the IRS has seen a dramatic increase in criminals going out and trying to obtain people’s personally identifiable information, and that up-tick is probably not going to stop with Covid. What I can say is it is not the end of the world if you get a phone call, it is not the end of the world if you find out you are unfortunately a victim to identity theft by someone filing a tax return in your name; there are steps and procedures those people can go through,” said Marcy.
Taxpayers can report fraud or theft of their Economic Impact Payments or tax returns. Reports can be made online at https://www.treasury.gov/tigta/contact.shtml
If you are being contacted by someone who you believe is trying to steal information from you, you can report it here.
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