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The Resource Center Identity Theft & Protection The Resource Center | article

Got An Email From The IRS?

Email

Tax season can be a stressful time of year for many Americans, particularly in April, when some late-comers may find themselves rushing to get all of the necessary paperwork together and submitted to the IRS by the 15th. Unfortunately, this time is also ripe for identity theft precisely for those same reasons. ID thieves will frequently take advantage of the confusion that pops up during tax season to access confidential personal and financial documents, which in turn gives them the keys to open new bank accounts and credit lines under unsuspecting people's names.

One favored method of ID theft that criminals like to use is called "phishing." As the IRS describes it, "Phishing is a scam where Internet fraudsters send e-mail messages to trick unsuspecting victims into revealing personal and financial information that can used to steal the victims' identity." What makes phishing such a frighteningly effective tool for ID thieves is that the message is made to appear as if it was sent by a legitimate source - such as the IRS.

However, tax preparers need to know that the IRS will never contact them via email. The only ways the agency will get in touch with you are through letter mail or occasionally over the phone. If you ever receive an email from the IRS - particularly one that promises you a tax refund - be aware that it is a phony message. Never click any links on these fraudulent emails or submit any personal data that may be prompted.

By avoiding phishing attempts and using a credit monitoring service to stay apprised of certain activity occurring in your name that could indicate fraud, you can help keep your identity and your finances safe from harm this tax season.

Beat ID thieves to your refund. #TAXRACE

Source: IRS - http://www.irs.gov/uac/Identity-Protection-Tips

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