It’s Tax Time, so It Must Also be Tax Scam Time

We still have some time until Tax Day, but as we’ve all become painfully aware, tax time means you might be getting a call from a fictional IRS agent trying to scare you into paying non-existent fines. Scammers are also pretty crafty when using various methods to get malware on your system.

In addition to scams involving phone calls claiming to be from the IRS, emails are a prime avenue that hackers try to use to infect users’ systems. An email might be posing from a source like TurboTax or Taxlayer claiming to be a privacy or security update.

Here are tips from the NJ Cybersecurity & Communications Integration Cell:

  • Never open any attachments that come through a email. Open a separate tab and go directly to the website to find the info you think you need to update.
  • File your tax return as early as possible.
  • Use a secure internet connection to file electronically, or mail your tax return directly at the post office.
  • Never respond to emails, texts, or social media communications claiming to be from the IRS. The IRS will only contact you by mail. Report any suspicious or unsolicited emails to phishing@irs.gov.
  • Never provide personal information to anyone purporting to be an IRS representative who contacts you via an unsolicited telephone call. Instead record the caller’s name, badge number and a call back number. Hang up and then contact the IRS at 1-800-366-4484 to determine if the caller is an IRS employee.
  • Remember that the IRS will never call demanding immediate payment of taxes owed or a specific method of payment, such as a prepaid debit card, gift card, or wire transfer.
  • Monitor your credit report to verify there is no unauthorized activity.
  • Enroll in the IRS Identity Protection Pin (IP PIN) program to obtain a 6-digit pin.

Check out the NJCCIC website to stay up-to-date with all of the latest cybersecurity threats during tax season and check out our video on phishing.

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