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Beware of Scams During Tax Season

1040 Forms with handcuffs on top

Tax season brings enough stress. Don’t let identity fraud and theft make it even worse!

Phishing is extremely common during tax season. Scammers send fake emails, texts, or make phone calls claiming to be from the IRS or companies like TurboTax. They say you are entitled to a tax refund or need to log back in to complete your filing, and then steal your identity and file false tax returns. From 2011 to 2012, the IRS reported the number of victims of tax return scams increased by 80 percent! Take extra precautions with your information:

1. Don’t give out personal information via text, in an email, or over the phone.

2. Familiarize yourself with the look of the online tax service (e.g., TurboTax, H&R Block) you’re using before you begin. Any emails you receive from them should look (logo, fonts) like the parent site. When in doubt…check with the service before responding. Go back to the original tax service site and use their online chat or “ask a question” page to inquire about the email you received. Don’t click on any email links or open attachments until you’re sure.

If you receive a spam email that appears to be from the IRS or a similar organization, report it to phishing@irs.gov.

Internet scams are popular during tax time, but they occur year-round. Visit Information Security and Compliance’s ID Theft page to learn more. Email the Security team with any questions about phishing scams at UF or other information security issues.