Security awareness

Tax scam season: How to protect your data from common scams in 2024

Emma Waite
February 11, 2024 by
Emma Waite

Tax season is a time of year that many people dread. Not only can filing taxes be a stressful experience, but it can also be the perfect opportunity for scammers to take advantage of unsuspecting taxpayers.

Phishing emails and phony payment demands are on the rise, and hackers are constantly looking for ways to trick you out of your hard-earned money. 

In this episode of Hacker Headlines, Infosec's Keatron Evans provides security awareness tips to help keep your data secure during tax season.

The most common tax scam: Impersonating the IRS 

One of the most common tax scams is also the simplest: impersonating the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Scammers will send phishing emails or text messages (also known as smishing) that claim to be from the IRS. These messages may state that you have an unpaid balance, need to update your taxpayer information immediately, or are owed a refund that you need to collect. They may even offer help setting up an IRS account or gaining tax credits. However, beware of their tactics. 

Scammers often set up a fake IRS login page and lure you into entering your personal data. Once they have your information, they will use it to steal your identity and potentially cause significant harm. 

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How to protect yourself from tax scams 

Fortunately, there are two simple rules you can follow to protect yourself from these tax scams: 

  1. Don't trust emails or texts claiming to be from the IRS: The IRS does not send emails or text messages asking for personal or financial information, including account numbers. If you receive an email or text claiming to be from the IRS, it's a scam. Delete it immediately to avoid falling into the trap. It’s likely some variation of a tax refund scam email or tax relief scam call. 

  1. Bookmark the official IRS website: When doing your taxes, always access the official IRS website through a safe bookmark. If you receive a message mentioning a new tax or a payment owed, do not trust any links in unsolicited messages. Instead, log into the official website using your bookmarked link to ensure the security of your information. 

By adhering to these two rules, you can safeguard yourself from tax scams and prevent becoming a victim of identity theft. Remember, the IRS communicates official messages through letters and phone calls, never via email or text. Educate your friends and relatives about these scams to ensure their safety. 

Stay safe and secure 

Tax season can be stressful, but you don't have to let scammers take advantage of you. Take the necessary precautions to protect your data and finances from tax scams and avoid falling victim to identity theft.

If you have any concerns or questions, don't hesitate to contact the IRS directly. Stay safe, stay vigilant, and enjoy a secure tax season! 

For more security awareness tips, download our Tax Season Toolkit.

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Emma Waite
Emma Waite

Emma has been with Infosec for five years supporting Infosec IQ in multiple capacities. She began her career with Infosec as a Client Success Manager and then transitioned to helping customers implement Infosec IQ as the Implementation Team Lead. Most recently she took on the role of Product Marketing Manager for IQ. In her "free" time, she is busy keeping up with three kids and two dogs, while tending to her garden.