The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently issued its annual “Dirty Dozen” list of tax scams, reminding taxpayers to use caution during tax season to avoid being affected by a scam. The listing includes a variety of common scams taxpayers can encounter any time during the year. The most common types are highlighted below.
Identity theft is at the top of the list. Identity theft occurs when someone uses your personal identifying information without your permission to commit fraud or other crimes. Most commonly, an identity thief uses a legitimate taxpayer’s identity to fraudulently file a tax return and claim a refund.
Phishing is another popular scam that is typically carried out with an unsolicited email or a fake website that looks legitimate to lure in potential victims and prompt them to enter personal and financial information. Once the information is obtained, a criminal can commit identity theft or other financial crimes.
Phone scams have also been increasing across the country.
- IRS Refund Scam – Callers pretend to be from the IRS in hopes of stealing money or identities from victims. The most common phone scam is one in which the caller says the victim owes money or is entitled to a large refund. After threatening victims with jail time or a driver’s license revocation, scammers hang up and a different scammer will usually call back and pretend to be from a police department or Bureau of Motor Vehicles.
- IT Support Scam – Scammers have also been known to call victims pretending to be IT support and offering to fix the “infected” computer for a fee.
- Credit Card Activation/Deactivation Scam – The caller will claim that there is a problem with your card and ask for information from the card to correct the issue. They will typically ask for the card number, PIN number, CVV, and the expiration date.
Cyber Security has received reports of USS employees receiving these types of scams to their work email addresses and company phone numbers. Never give anyone any information over the phone. If you can, write down the number they are calling from, but don’t argue or engage the caller in any way. We would like to remind you that if you experience any of these situations and think that it is a scam, please contact us firstname.lastname@example.org or call the GSD at steelcom 8-723-1574 or 1-800-552-2730.