Grab Your Sword and Shield — It’s Tax Scam Season
Every year, the underbelly of the digital world comes out with new ways to try and take your money and identity during tax time. With so much personal information floating around this time of year, it can be like shooting fish in a barrel for cyber-thieves and criminals to take your information and use it for nefarious purposes.
Guard yourself! Raise the drawbridge! Get the bunker ready!
Or, just protect your identity and your money (it is yours, after all) by keeping these easy tips in mind as you wade through the murky waters of Tax Scam Season.
- Trust no one. Except your accountant… maybe.
- Never give out your personal information. Not over the phone, not via email, not via text message, not on a website linked from an email. And definitely not social media. No one does taxes via Twitter. At least not yet.
- If it sounds too good to be true, it is. Scammers like to say that they can give you your tax return before you even file your taxes. But how could they possibly know how much you’re going to receive? Not even the best psychic can see your tax future.
- No, the IRS is probably not really calling you. Unless you made a huge mistake on your taxes, it’s highly unlikely that they’d be calling you, and it’s probably a scam. And if they say they work for the “Internal Revenue Service,” hang up fast.
- Don’t believe the threats. New Yorkers don’t scare easily, but even still, threats are the best way scammers get older citizens and immigrants. If someone threatens you with fines, jail, or deportation, hang up and call your accountant, or the branch of the government they claimed to be from to see if they’re legit.
- Double-check anything suspicious. Like that shifty neighbor you just know is stealing your newspaper from your stoop, you can often catch a scam in the act if you keep an eagle-eye look out for it. Words like “Urgent” and “Immediate Action Needed” are often red flags. And if all else fails and the email looks real, find the real company online and call the number there and see if they really sent it.
- Be a snitch. Tax scam snitches never get stitches, and often help save others when they report phishing and other related tax scams. Be a hero, report the scam.
Once you’ve successfully run the gauntlet of tax scam season, and that tax return is safely in your pocket, you’re going to need to figure out what to do with it. Don’t worry, Dime has you covered.
As your trusted advisors, Dime will never ask for your personal information via email or over the phone. Visit a local branch if you need help or contact a Dime representative at 1-800-321-DIME (3463).