Now is the time of year that your personal statements for the tax year ending 2014 are arriving in the mail. These are important documents that your accountant will use to prepare and file your taxes. This is also a prime time for tax scammers who may pose as IRS agents to contact you to committ identity theft.
When someone tries to steal your personal information via the internet it is called “phishing.” This is carried out through an unsolicited email or a fake website. You are asked to click on a link or go to a fradulent website. Please keep in mind that the IRS generally will not contact taxpayers by email to request personal information.
According to the IRS, identity theft is on the rise this time of year. The IRS website lists many ways to protect yourself from becoming a victim. Not carrying your Social Security card, keeping your personal and financial information secure at home and installing firewalls on your computer are just a few precautions you can take to protect yourself.
Criminals who call and impersonate IRS agents top the list of scams at tax time. Over the telephone, they will use threatening or aggressive techniques to steal your personal information. Please note, often the first contact you have with the IRS will be through the mail and they will not ask you for any personal information.
Please visit the IRS website, www.irs.gov. Click on the tab, “News and Events” for the latest information regarding scams and identity theft. You can learn to protect yourself and how to report any attempts at or incidents of scamming.