Don’t be tricked into giving out your personal information by a scammer using scare tactics.
Tax professionals are heavily targeted especially this filing season because scammers want to steal client information with the intent to take stimulus payments and unemployment income.
If you’re contacted by someone who’s claiming to be from our firm, be cautious and pause before responding or giving out information. Like the IRS, we do not contact taxpayers via phone, email, text message or social media to request personal or financial information.
Scammers use sophisticated equipment to spoof phone numbers. So if you’re unsure if it’s us calling, hand up and call us back at (803)470-4938 to verify. If it’s after hours, leave a message stating the incident and a tax practitioner will follow up with you.
Top scams to watch out for
- Phishing emails
- Phantom or “Ghost” tax preparers are paid to prepare a tax return but don’t sign it, either electronically or on paper as the paid preparer.
- Unemployment related tax fraud
What to do if you’re a victim of tax fraud
- File a police report and report the fraud to the Federal Trade Commission at identitytheft.gov or call the FTC Identity Theft Hotline at (877) 438-4338.
- Contact the IRS’ Identity Protection unit at (800) 908-4490.
- Request a fraud alert on your credit report. Contact one of the three major credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian or TransUnion) and ask them to put a fraud alert on your credit records. You can also request a credit freeze, which will stop any new credit accounts from being opened in your name.
Use the following link to get more information about reporting tax fraud – How Do You Report Suspected Tax Fraud Activity? | Internal Revenue Service (irs.gov)