Even in the age of traditional media and digital media being readily available, many people are still falling victim to tax-related scams! But come to think of it, the work of crooks likely has become easier since most, if not all, taxpayers are already online. In many ways, it’s far easier to fraudulently get taxpayer information through online channels than through the traditional ones.
But that doesn’t mean either that crooks are skipping the traditional methods! Here are a few of the old and new tricks that crooks out for your money are using in 2020.
Cold Calling to Secure Your Social Security Details
Cold calling, of course, has been around for a long time, an infamous method for getting leads. Crooks are using it, too, in many ways including making claims about various issues in your Social Security account.
You may get a call about your number being suspended, for example, so you will return a robocall. You may also be scared into giving information, such as your banking and Social Security numbers, or giving monetary considerations (bitcoins and gift cards are common, too). You’re likely to be strongly encouraged to take action now or else.
But the demands don’t stop there. Telephone scammers will send fake documents via email intended to persuade potential victims to comply with their demands. The emails usually contain official-sounding letters with attachments from either Social Security or the Social Security Office of the Inspector General.
Tip: Don’t respond to these calls and emails even when they seem legitimate. Don’t provide sensitive information and authenticate it over the phone or email, too.
Notices from the IRS Are Sent
According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), crooks are using sophisticated knowledge about the tax code and filing fraudulent tax returns related to partnerships and proprietorships. As a result, business owners and partners are vulnerable to scams.
Red flags that businesses are possibly the target of scams are:
- The IRS appears to have stopped regular notices. This may well be caused by crooks changing your business address on the fraudulent tax forms.
- The IRS seems to have sent notices that don’t make sense to your type of business, tax situation and other aspects. You should be suspicious because these notices may well be scams to secure more information and use it against your business.
Crooks involved in sophisticated phishing scams that target people involved in the payroll departments of businesses. They usually pose as the CEO or President of a business, ask for access to payroll data from certain employees, and then use the information for nefarious purposes.
According to H&R Block, this is among the most effective and, thus, most dangerous tax-related phishing emails tax experts have come so far this year.
Tip: Don’t click on a link, open an attachment, and perform other actions required by the email sender if and when the email doesn’t come from a trusted source.
Crooks will always be out for the money and if you’re not careful, you can be their next victim. You should always be vigilant when it comes to your personal information, from not divulging it online to keeping your personal documents in a safe place.