With tax season upon us, it’s a good time to review the sorts of scams fraudsters use to target your sensitive information, and what you can do to prevent falling victim.

Fraudsters will often pretend to be the IRS in order to get you to divulge personal information such as your social security number. The IRS will never contact you by email, text, or social media to ask for payment or personal information. It is also good to be wary of phone scams where crooks will pretend to be the IRS and demand immediate payment over the phone. The IRS will never call you to demand payment be made that instant. Do not reply directly to any suspicious correspondence.

If you are ever contacted by someone claiming to be the IRS and you are not sure if it is legitimate, check www.irs.gov to find out. You can search the form number on their page for instructions on how to proceed, if it is legitimate. You can report any fraudulent attempts to get your information at https://www.irs.gov/privacy-disclosure/report-phishing. The IRS also maintains a list of active, common scams at https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/tax-scams-consumer-alerts.

Be wary of scams that pretend to be tax preparation services, such as TurboTax. These are another form of phishing email, often seen as fake Microsoft login pages. But around tax time especially, scams that target your Intuit or other tax services logins are common. Be sure to verify the sender’s full email address and any link URLs, and if ever in doubt, call a publicly listed number for the company in question.

When dealing with sensitive information, whether it’s your own or your company’s, it’s vital to protect it from those who would steal it from you. At Layered Systems, we help companies and their employees stay secure with spam filtering, multi-factor authentication, modern network security solutions and more. Contact Us today to learn more about how to protect your business.