Tax Time Scams and How To Avoid Them

As we head into tax season, we’ll see an influx of tax-related scams. Here is some information on what to keep an eye out for as well as some resources from the IRS regarding tax-related scams.

Phishing email is still the biggest attack avenue, as it is cheap and easy. Use the SLAM (Sender, Links, Attachments, Message) method to assess any suspicious emails:

  1. Check the Sender address
  2. Hover over any Links to see if they match the text
  3. Be wary of Attachments
  4. Check the Message. Red flags are a sense of urgency, consequences if something isn’t immediately done, or requests for payment in odd forms

The IRS compiles a list of its “Dirty Dozen” scams each year. It can be accessed here: They also have a webpage dedicated to specific tax scams and consumer alerts: It is a good place to learn about common scams and how to identify them. And for the low tech scams, here is a page dedicated to helping you determine if the IRS is really on the phone or knocking at your door:

The IRS will never:

  • Call to demand immediate payment using a specific payment method such as a prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer. Generally, the IRS will first mail a bill to any taxpayer who owes taxes.
  • Threaten to immediately bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have the taxpayer arrested for not paying.
  • Demand that taxes be paid without giving taxpayers the opportunity to question or appeal the amount owed.
  • Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
  • Call you about an unexpected refund.

(taken from their website:

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