Yep, you read that right. Tax season means phishing. And although you may be planning on spending your tax refund on a new, high-quality fishing pole, that’s not the kind of phishing we’re talking about!
We at PLR know that criminals will try a lot of things to try to trick you out of your hard-earned money. And with the improvement of technology, their schemes have become even more sophisticated.
According to phishing.org, phishing is “a cybercrime in which a target or targets are contacted by email, telephone or text message by someone posing as a legitimate institution to lure individuals into providing sensitive data such as personally identifiable information, banking and credit card details, and passwords.” Beyond phishing techniques, scammers will also use fraudulent websites to try and trick people out of personal information.
To avoid being tricked by a scammer or phishing scheme, keep these things in mind:
- The IRS does not use email, text messages or social media to discuss tax debts or refunds with taxpayers. If you receive a notification from the IRS using one of these methods, contact them at 1-800-829-1040.
- Criminals will often make it seem like there is an urgent matter and that they need your information to get it resolved. If you receive an email or a phone call from the IRS urgently requesting information, hang up and call the number listed above.
- Phishing emails and websites will intentionally use incorrect spelling or grammar to try to lure in those who overlook it. If a site has bad spelling or grammar, be wary.
To report bad websites or emails, forward them to the IRS’s email address at firstname.lastname@example.org.