How To Avoid Becoming the Victim of a Tax Scam

Ah, summertime. Warm days, rest, relaxation, and…tax scams. Really? Yes! Thieves don’t stop victimizing unsuspecting taxpayers after April 15th. Unfortunately, tax scams happen year round and no one is immune to them.

The top three scams listed on the IRS’s “Dirty Dozen” list are identity theft, phone scams, and phishing.  Here is some important information to keep you protected and ready 365 days a year:


1. Identity Theft: Identity thieves steal personal and financial information such as your Social Security number or your banking information to commit fraud and other crimes.  They could also file a phony tax return in your name to claim a fraudulent refund.

But you don’t need to be a victim. By using the many resources available on, you can reduce your risk of becoming another statistic. Be sure to check out their page, “Identity Protection” to help safeguard your privacy. This page also guides you through the critical steps needed if you are a victim of identity theft.


2. Phone Scams: Thieves are often very tech savvy so you must always be a step ahead of them. For example:

  • If a phone call appears on your caller i.d as “IRS”, keep in mind the IRS does not contact people by telephone.  The real IRS will contact you by mail only, regardless of the reason.
  • The scammer might know the last four digits of your Social Security number and use that to establish credibility with you.  Don’t fall for it!
  • The IRS does not request payments from you with a prepaid debit card. If you receive one of these calls, hang up and report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 800-366-4484.


3. Phishing Scams. Scammers typically send emails claiming to be the IRS, luring their targets with false promises of money. They may also set up a phony website that looks like the real Their goal is to get their victim to reveal personal and financial information.


Also, remember this: The IRS does not use email, social media, texting, or fax to initiate contact and will never ask for personal information. Don’t let tax scams take the fun out of your summer. Be alert to phone and phishing scams that use the IRS as a lure. Visit for more tips on how to avoid becoming a victim and how to report tax fraud. If you have questions, contact us right away!