MS Attorney General Warns of Tax Season Scams

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn

  • BE SUSPICIOUS of any calls or emails purporting to be from the IRS, no matter what the issue.  Instead, hang up and call the IRS back at the number you know to be correct. Use caution when opening attachments or downloading files from emails, regardless of the sender.  Do not call or text a number left in the message or follow the internet links to a site.
    • NEVER confirm your SSN or bank account details by email or over the phone.
    • GUARD your mail because it’s especially attractive at tax time. Ideally,  have your mail delivered to a P.O. Box or purchase a locked mailbox and mail tax returns and sensitive information directly from the post office.
    • USE CAUTION when choosing an online tax preparation service. Make sure they are reputable and have adequate security measures in place. Ask important security questions, such as how their information is protected during and after preparation, how long they keep copies of your tax return, and whether they conduct background checks on their employees. Be careful when typing in the URL or web address of an online service.  If  you misspell the name, you could end up on a fraudulent site that looks like the real one.
    • DON’T email tax information or returns to your accountant. Email is not a secure way to send any document.
    • SHRED all unnecessary documents or copies when tax season is over. Dumpster divers will be on the prowl to get your banking account details and SSNs.
    • CHECK your credit report immediately after tax time and again a few months later to make sure your personal information wasn’t stolen and is not being used against you.  Continue to check your credit report on a regular basis.
    • ALWAYS keep your anti-virus software up to date to make sure your computer is free of malware like computer viruses and spyware.  Use a firewall to help make you invisible on the internet and to block communications from unauthorized sources.
    Anyone who suspects they have been a victim of a scam should contact the Consumer Protection Division of the Attorney General’s Office at 1-800-281-4418. More tips on scams can be found at www.agjimhood.com.]]]]> ]]>