*First National Community Bank’s blog does not constitute legal, tax, accounting, investment or other professional advice. Recipients should consult their professional advisors for advice.
Tax season is upon us once again as January 23 marked the beginning of the 2023 tax season and the start of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) acceptance and processing of individual 2022 tax returns. While this is the start of the season, as the April 15 tax filing deadline draws closer, tax scams will become more prevalent. It is critically important that your personal and financial information is safe and you know which common tax scams you should be aware of and avoid. First National Community Bank has outlined the 3 common tax scams to avoid.
- Email Phishing Scams
One of the most common tax scams are phishing scams, in which an email will typically appear to be from the IRS. Once the victim has opened the email, the scammer will try to get at the recipient’s personal and financial information. They will then use this information to steal the victim’s identity, empty their accounts or file taxes in the victim’s name and keep the refund. Oftentimes the emails contain malware and if opened, it installs a software that is specifically designed to disrupt, damage or gain unauthorized control to a computer system. It is important to note that the IRS does not use email, text messages or social media to discuss tax debts or refunds with taxpayers. The United States Postal Service (USPS) is the primary carrier for all correspondence between the IRS and the public.
- Phone Calls
Another common tax scam is phony phone calls in which a caller spoofs the IRS’s toll-free number and calls a victim, claiming they owe thousands of dollars in taxes that must be paid immediately under threat of arrest or deportation. While spoofed IRS numbers are prevalent, malicious callers can also call from numbers not associated with the IRS and claim it to be a “field office” number if questioned.
- Identity Theft
Identity theft, while prevalent year round, is only magnified during tax season and is also one of the most common tax scams. Tax identity theft scams occur when criminals use your Social Security number to file a tax return in your name to claim your refund. There are several warning signs that may occur to alert you that something is wrong, including:
-An IRS notification via USPS that your tax return has already been filed
-Receiving a tax transcript from the IRS that you never requested
-The IRS rejecting your e-filed tax return because one has already been submitted using your Social Security number
-A notification from the IRS that an account has been created on the IRS.gov website that was not initiated by you
Knowledge of common tax scams is an important step to ensuring that you do not fall victim. As your locally owned community bank of choice, the success of your financial future is top of mind. We offer Personal Checking Accounts, Money Market, Personal Savings Accounts, CDs, IRAs, Business Loans, Treasury Management Services, Mortgages, Personal Loans of all shapes and sizes and much more! To learn more about First National Community Bank’s financial solutions, contact us here.
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