Scammers become very active during tax season. Criminals take advantage of your pressure during taxation season and know that you will make impulsive decisions.
One of the most popular tax-scams are the calls we all get from people claiming to be from law companies. They usually threaten you with a lawsuit or an arrest and require immediate payment. Keep in mind that a lawyer never calls you out of the blue and if they wanted to get in touch with you, they would have sent you multiple letters before they pick-up the phone to call you.
If you are not expecting a call from a lawyer, the person on the other side of the phone claiming to be a lawyer is most likely a fraud. If you get such a call, it is important not to engage at all and resist the pressure to act quickly. Instead of panicking go ahead and report the contact.
Arguably the second most popular law related scam that flourishes every Aprils is the phishing campaigns executed by cybercriminals. As you know phishing scams are typically carried out through unsolicited email and websites that pose as legitimate sites and rely on luring unsuspecting victims to provide personal and financial information. If you have antivirus software installed on all your connected device those emails will not even reach you.
However, you always have to be extra careful and not to open unsolicited emails. If a suspicious email makes it to your inbox, just delete it without opening it or clicking on any links in it.
We know that there isn’t that much time until the individual tax return deadline, but this is not a good excuse to believe that you’ve somehow miraculously qualified for an immediate tax relief. If it seems too good to be true, it probably isn’t. If someone is on the phone demanding personal information such as your Identification number, just hang up.
Avoid giving them information by just not letting them communicate with you anymore. Scammers do not deserve your time explaining why you are not feeling confident into sharing personal information with them – just stop talking to them, block the number and continue with your day.
While personal information such as date of birth, address, cell number and full name can easily be found online, your Identification Number isn’t readily available on online directory service providers such as White Pages. Avoid sharing your full ID over the phone with anyone unless necessary and always keep all documents that have it, safely locked in a secure place at home or on a connected device secured with antivirus software.
Filing your tax returns early guarantees you quicker tax refunds! The longer you wait, the more prone you will be to be lured by a criminal. Bear in mind that filing your taxes early not only allows you to get the money you are owed but also gives you more time to pay any taxes you might owe. By knowing how much you owe, you will be able to create a better game plan, avoid penalties, and deal with your debt without the need to file for a tax extension. The chances of becoming a victim of identity theft also decrease significantly when you submit early.
Over the last couple years, we’ve seen an unprecedented amount of major data leaks. Staying safe in this digital world could be tricky and making sure all your connected devices are secured with anti-virus software is a must. The only way to keep yours and your families’ identities intact is to prevent them from getting stolen in the first place.