It's that time again — time to file your taxes early so criminals don't do it for you and steal your possible refunds. This is of special importance after the recent Equifax hack in which most Americans' personal information, including Social Security Numbers, was accessed by criminals. The most effective defense is to file your taxes early — before identity thieves have the chance to do it for you.
If you feel you've been the victim of an IRS scam, you can file an IRS Impersonation Scam report with the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) here.
If that wasn't enough, TIGTA also reports that callers impersonating Internal Revenue Service or Treasury Department employees are demanding payments on iTunes Gift Cards, Green Dot Prepaid Cards, MoneyPak Prepaid Cards, Reloadit Prepaid Debit Cards and other prepaid credit cards. These are fraudulent calls.
Any call requesting that taxpayers place funds on a gift card to pay taxes and fees is an indicator of fraudulent activity. No legitimate United States Treasury or IRS official will demand that payments via Western Union, MoneyGram, bank wire transfers or bank deposits be made into another person’s account for any debt to the IRS or Treasury. Hang up on these fraudulent callers and go to the TIGTA scam reporting page to report the call.
We know filing your taxes each year can be a hassle, but it's better to not wait until the last minute to do so, if only to protect yourself.