Have you filed your income taxes yet? If not, be cautious because the IRS has reported a spike in scams. These include scammers attempting to file fake tax returns and stealing people’s identities and social security numbers. Keep a lookout for the following before filing and contact our credit union in Harlingen if you have any issues with your finances.
Scammers Impersonating the IRS
Scammers are sending emails pretending to be IRS officials. Their goal is to steal electronic filing identification numbers (EFINs). According to the IRS, these emails ask you to verify your EFIN before filing. If you receive these emails or other solicitations, delete them, block the sender, and report it here. Know that the IRS never requests immediate payment or financial information via phone or email. The agency only sends notices by mail.
Phone scammers have been known to threaten victims to pay an outstanding bill or will report them to immigration services or the IRS. Do not give any personal data over the phone.
Phone scams include:
- Robocalls asking for your personal or tax information.
- Callers asking for gift cards to pay what you owe to the IRS.
- Scammers impersonating IRS employees and claiming there’s a mistake on your refund and to return it.
Taxpayers are also vulnerable to phishing that involves fake emails, websites, or texts intending to steal personal information. Again, the IRS does not contact people through these manners.
Phishing scammers also use:
- Weblinks containing malware and words referring to COVID-19 aid or stimulus checks.
- Social media photos that trick users into giving information to supposed “trustworthy friends and family.”
- Fake charities with names similar to genuine charities asking for your personal information and donations. You can look up legitimate charities here.