The tax season commonly runs between January to April for most organizations. Criminals impersonate government agents and steal money.
As the hard working citizens prepare to pay a percentage of their income to the government for the welfare of the nation, scammers are seeking loopholes to steal sensitive personal information.
They are reaching potential targets through emails, text messages, phone calls and posing as government officers to steal money. And prestigious organizations are forced to issue urgent warnings against rising tax scams targeting taxpayers.
Agency officials at Cyber-Forensics.net, a cyber forensics service for online scam victims, reportedly received hundreds of complaints by avid taxpayers who narrowly escaped scammers impersonating government agents asking for their bank details.
Peter Thompson, fund recovery services at the firm reveals “Tax scams can lead to identity theft allowing crooks to file tax returns using victims’ name and tax information. Additionally, they can lead to negative financial effects.”
According to the news bulletin, these con artists are dominantly active around tax season as the season is ripe time for fraudsters to hide their identity and hit potential targets with realistic-looking emails and texts.
Peter Thompson, who specializes in fund recovery guidance at Cyber-Forensics.net worked with Sarah Kull who was tricked into a tax scam recently and ended up losing thousands of dollars. She said: “It’s the time of the year I make sure never to share my personal and financially sensitive data, but the scammer sounded astonishingly genuine. I am asking other taxpayers to use information as the first line of defence.”
Some Common Tax Scams to Watch Out For Are:
- Text Messages Scams: Fake messages informing about pending tax returns contain bogus links claiming to be from official websites or other online tools. In 2021, there was a significant increase in texts referencing to Covid-19 and stimulus payments. The thing to note here is that the financial institutions never send texts to remind taxpayers about pending tax returns or discuss tax issues such as bills or refunds.
- E-mail Hoaxes: These schemes are similar. They involve sending potential targets unsolicited messages appearing to be from the official websites. However, the finance department never requests personal information. Usually, the tax bureau initiates most contacts through mail medium.
- Phone Scams: Cybercriminals generally convey urgency by calling the taxpayers and threaten them with arrest warrants revocation of licence or deportation. A good way to deal with such a situation is Not To Panic, and run the number through caller ID.
Helpful Tips to Avoid Getting Scammed Into Tax Scams:
- Find a credible tax preparer and stick with them.
- Ask the tax preparers for their Identification Number.
- Never hire a ghost preparer.
- Never sign a blank tax return.
- Ensure to receive funds directly.
- Never click links or attachments that come in unsolicited emails, text messages about tax returns.
- Never respond to social media posts claiming to be from Revenue departments.
- If scammed, hire fraud recovery experts to get money back.
What to do if an ID has been stolen?
In case someone’s ID has been stolen in a tax-related scam, they may not learn about the scam until the amount has been stolen from their account using Social Security Numbers. If that happens, follow the suggested steps:
Report the Matter: When someone receives messages/ emails/ calls that appear to be from a scammer, the matter must be reported to the local police, state departments or other federal agency in the area immediately.
Check Mail Inbox: Usually, when there is any suspicious activity observed in the taxpayers account, the financial institutions send a letter to the users. Respond immediately to the notice and call the number provided.
Work with Certified Tax Preparers: By working with certified tax preparers, individuals can protect against common tax scams.
Fill the Identity Theft Affidavit: Some organizations may require scam victims to furnish the Identity Theft Affidavit when their e-filed tax return request is rejected because a duplicate filing under the same social security number is already registered.
Tax scams victims should also consider checking their credit card report for any suspicious activity or any unauthorized transactions.
Hire Fund recovery specialists : If the taxpayers have been fooled into paying scammers the amount, they must seek professional help by hiring fraud recovery experts as these officials are equipped with knowledge, tools, and equipment to help scammed victims. The experts bring years of experience and implement best practices to guide the victims. Along with it, they are usually helpful in giving an exact analysis of the situation so that the victims do not get any wrong idea or feel cheated.
Cyber-Forensics.net is committed to providing the most accurate tracing service for victims of online scams. Cyber-Forensics.net empowers and simplifies the process of tracking down the cyber-criminals and assists in recovering the funds and creating an atmosphere for a negotiated settlement. Cyber-Forensics.net commonly deals with Bitcoin scams and Forex withdrawal problems. For more information, please visit http://cyber-forensics.net/.