Warning about IRS scams

THIEVES and hackers are increasing their efforts to steal money and data from taxpayers this Christmas season by posing as IRS officials in elaborate scams.

In a statement, IRS The combination of the holiday shopping season, the upcoming tax season and the pandemic creates additional opportunities for criminals to steal sensitive personal or financial information.

IRS warns against holiday scams


IRS warns against holiday scams

“This year, scams related to COVID-19, Economic impact payments and other tax law changes are common,” the agency warned.

In an effort to keep Americans safe, the IRS has shared guidelines for avoiding scams and scams this holiday season.

Beware of gift card scams

Gift card scams are becoming increasingly common as they often use hacked or spoofed email addresses, and seems legit at first.

If you receive an email or text from a friend, relative, co-worker, or work that says you need it buy and send gift cards to a certain address, be suspicious.

And as the IRS points out, remember that no federal agency will ask you to pay unpaid fees with a gift card.

“The agency will not request or accept gift cards to pay tax bills,” the IRS said in a statement.

Hackers in disguise IRS Officials send an email requesting a gift card purchase.

A scammer can “tell a taxpayer that their identity was stolen and used to open a fake bank account,” the IRS writes, and tell the victim they need to pay a penalty. fake tax.

After instructing taxpayers to purchase gift cards from stores or restaurants, the scammer asks the taxpayer for the card number and PIN.

But the IRS will never call or email and make these kinds of requests.

“In general, the IRS will first bill any taxpayer who owes taxes,” the agency wrote.

If you receive a phishing email from someone pretending to be an IRS official, forward it to

Update your anti-virus program and turn on the firewall

The IRS advises computer users to check their security settings and update their anti-virus software before holiday season.

“Make sure your computer’s anti-virus software has malware protection and firewall is enabled the agency said.

If your family members are still learning how to use the Internet safely, especially teenagers or young children, increase their privacy settings.

And remember, it’s not just your office desktop that needs to be checked for security.

“Do not forget use security software for computers, tablets and mobile phones – and keep it up to date,” the IRS said.

Double-check the sites you shop at

In your rush to claim holiday bargains, you might click on a favorite website to make a purchase, but unwittingly share your personal financial information with hackers.

A website that looks like a normal web store There may be a serious vulnerability that could open your credit card information to hackers.

The IRS reminds shoppers: “Shopping at sites with web addresses beginning with ‘https’ – ‘s’ is for secure communication over computer networks.

And in the URL bar look for “padlock “icon indicates secure site.

Do not purchase online if the site has not been verified as safe.

Use two-factor verification and strong passwords

Before Christmas and New Year, update old password favor the stronger.

Make sure they’re unique for every site, and consider using a password manager if you’re baffled by the idea of ​​having different passwords for every account.

And turn on two-step verification, also known as multi-factor authentication, on any app or website that allows it.

“Many email providers and social networking sites provide this feature, the IRS said.

“It helps prevent thieves from easily hacking accounts.”

Shop online at home, on secure Wi-Fi

Even if you see an expensive item in the store, but find a great deal online when you look it up on your phone, resist the urge to buy it until you get home.

“Don’t shop on unsecured public Wi-Fi in places like malls. Remember, Thieves can eavesdrop, the IRS said.

And at home, set a strong WiFi password, no matter how tempting it may be when you don’t secure the Internet so your guests can connect easily.

With more homes connected to the web, safety systems are becoming more important, from wireless printers to wireless door locks to wireless thermometers, the IRS said.

Those hotspots are convenient for you, but they’re also accessible to identity thieves.

Cyber ​​expert Zak Doffman warns of scams and why you should NEVER click on fake links

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