Tax Scams Across the Nation Part Three: Have You Seen My Tax Refund?

3/27/2018 - By John Mascaro, CPA

Identity-theft tax refund fraud occurs when someone uses your stolen Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) and then files a tax return on your behalf claiming a fraudulent refund.

In 2015, IRS teamed up with several software companies, tax preparation firms, payroll and tax financial product processors and state tax administrators to fight identity-theft refund fraud and protect the nation's taxpayers. See here for more on that: "Taxes.Security.Together."

Security Reminders for Taxpayers

Some steps to guard from identity theft include:

  • Always use security software with firewall and anti-virus protections. Make sure the security software is always turned on and can automatically update. Encrypt sensitive files such as tax records stored on computers and devices. Use strong passwords.  

  • As I mentioned in Parts One and Two of "Tax Scams Across the Nation," learn to recognize phishing emails and threatening phone calls and texts from bad-guys pretending to be legitimate, such as a bank, credit card company and government agencies. Don’t click links or download attachments from unknown or suspicious emails.

  • Protect personal data. Don’t carry your Social Security card with you, and make sure you tax records are safe. Treat your personal information like $MONEY$; don’t leave it lying around.

If you have any questions about tax scams that could impact you or other tax related concerns, email me or contact any member of our Tax Consulting team.

About the Author | John Mascaro
John is adept in helping companies develop and execute complex domestic and international tax strategies. He has served some of the world’s largest companies in varied industries, including IBM, Schlumberger, Siemens; and later specialized in the entertainment and media industry serving such notables as Viacom, Blockbuster Entertainment, MTV, VH1, Nickelodeon, SONY Pictures, SONY Music, Newsweek Magazine, McCann Erickson Advertising, Gruner & Jahr Publishing, Reuters and numerous entertainment and media celebrities.

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