Tax Frauds Are on the Rise, According to the IRS, So Keep an Eye Out for These Bogus Letters

Have you heard a phone ring, text message, or email from the IRS?

End the call without saying anything. It could be a scammer attempting to steal your personal information.

“With filing season in full swing, this is a prime time for fraudsters to target people with believable emails and text messages about their tax records and refunds,” stated “ IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig.

The IRS will not contact you via email or text message unless you have provided your mobile number as part of your verification process.

Nonetheless, the agency will not contact you through social networks. The IRS sends traditional mail, but you can also access data directly from your account.

According to the IRS, it does not end up leaving “pre-recorded, urgent, or threatening messages.” 

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What Exactly Is Tax Identity Theft?

When a 3rd party tries to use your details, such as your Social Security Number, to file a tax return, this is referred to as tax identity theft.

Fraudsters in full control of identity theft file false tax returns and also have tax refunds transferred into their accounts or mailed to them.

In South Carolina, for instance, 67 consumers reported that somebody had used their Social Security number to file their taxes in 2021.

Tax identity theft decreased by 80% between 2015 and 2019, and it is still decreasing. Every year, however, nearly 100,000 taxpayers grumble about it.

Tax frauds are on the rise
Tax frauds are on the rise

How Do You Understand if Your Tax Identity Has Been Stolen?

Though since your Social Security number is listed on the filed tax returns, the IRS may reject your return.

When you don’t do anything, the IRS provides you a notification that your online account has been established, opened, or disabled.

If you receive a Form 1099-G, which is the state unemployment form, even though you did not collect or are not unemployed.

Another red flag is receiving a Form W-2 from an employer you haven’t worked for within a year or more.

When the IRS recognizes or assumes that your identity has been hijacked, they will send you a letter requesting you to verify your account and validate the accuracy of your tax return. 

Steps to Safeguard Yourself Against Tax Identity Theft

Be Wary of Con Artists

Fraudsters will impersonate the IRS to deceive you into updating the information or sending the money to them.

Scammers will impersonate the IRS to deceive you into providing personal information or transferring money to them.

The IRS will send you notices in the mail. The IRS does not call you without first offering you some advice. 

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File Your Tax Returns as Soon as Possible

On January 24, the IRS began receiving tax returns. Identity thieves commit fraud before you file your tax returns. 

Use a Safe Line

Use a protected internet connection with keys and distinct passwords when filing online.

If feasible, use several verification stages. The IRS introduced a layer of security that functions as a PIN code. It is completely free.

Comply With IRS Identification Verification Requirements

The IRS has put in place security measures to keep you safe from criminals. Examine every available tool in your state.

South Carolina’s Department of Revenue, for example, put in place safeguards to ensure that no one is utilizing your information to steal your returns.

What if My Identity Was Stolen?

– People should respond to any IRS notice as soon as possible.

– Contact the IRS.

– Identity Theft Affidavit, IRS Form 14039, should be completed by taxpayers.

If you get one of these unwanted messages, take a screenshot and submit it to phishing@irs.gov, including the date and time you got it and your phone number.

This is also true for emails and social media communications.

Remember, survivors of tax-related identity theft should keep paying their taxes and filing their tax returns.

Call 800-908-4490 for help if you haven’t gotten a resolution for earlier tax identity theft.

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