It’s tax season, and while you’re probably pretty excited about getting a tax refund, the IRS is now warning of scams that could take your identity this tax season. The main thing the IRS is warning people to be on the lookout for is fake emails and phone calls that are posing as IRS’s contacts. According to the Post and Courier, the estimated amount that companies in the United States lose on average every year to tax hackers is $15 million. This doesn't take into account all the people who are individually hacked and scammed every year.
This year, the IRS has started a new “Taxes. Security. Together.” campaign, hoping to raise awareness about hackers and scammers. For tax preparation companies, the IRS is suggesting they do security scans on their devices to make sure there is no malware infection. The IRS is also urging people who use tax services to ask if the company has checked for malware issues.
If you are one of the many South Carolinians that will be filing on your own, the IRS suggests you also check and make sure your device is free of malware.
The IRS suggests several actions to keep you safe this tax season.
The first is to make sure you have a security system installed on your computer and Internet. It should be able to block viruses and malware.
The second is to not use “quick scan” options. You should always opt for an intensive scan for your computer before doing your taxes because hackers can hide malware where a quick scan wouldn't be able to find it.
For more information if you are a tax preparation business, the IRS suggests you review the “Safeguarding Taxpayer Data” and make sure your employees are educated on what to look for.