In the digital era, all sorts of information can be just a click away. Unfortunately, all sorts of scammers use this fact and they they send different kinds fraudulent to taxpayers. This is especially common around the Tax Day (April 15), so during this time you need to pay special attention to what you click and what kinds of email you receive.
How can email tax scams affect you?
You probably get at least one email each day that ends up in Spam folder because of its content. Tax scam emails should also belong here, but it is not rare that you receive them in your Inbox and that they look very realistic and trustworthy.
Email tax scams can affect you in different ways. First, they may require you to urgently pa a specific sum of money in the name of tax payment. Secondly, they can aim to get your personal information, And thirdly, they can contain a virus whoch can infect your computer.
Types of email tax scams
There are several types of email tax scams, or in other words, several purposes why the scammers send them.
You can receive a threatening email, where you are required to urgently pay a certain amount of money to the IRS. These emails can often contain some threats and blackmailing, such as theratening with the tax audit or even police if you do not pay.
Other than this, you can get an email where you are also requested to pay the tax, but the sender also asks you for your personal information such as your credit card number, social ID number, name and so on. This way, the scammers can get to your personal data and use them for identity theft. Needles to say that this is a huge problem that may cause you a lot of trouble. Emails aimed at stealing identity have another approach – the scammers may send the email to notify you that you are entitled to tax refund. Again, you are requested to provide your personal information, and you may become a victim of identity theft.
There are also tax scams which do not aim at neither taking money from you nor stealing your identity. Their only goal is to infect your computer with a virus. These emails contain a link you need to click for a certain reason (for example, to update your IRS e-file). When you click on the link, your computer will be infected with a virus or malware which can freeze it or even completely stop it from working.
How to deal with these scams
First of all, you need to know that the IRS never contacts taxpayers via email or phone. If you have any unpaid taxes or you are entitled to tax refund, the IRS will always contact you via mail.
In case you receive an email stating to be from the IRS, you should not have any doubts that it is a scam. In such case, make sure not to click on any links within the email. Forward the email to the IRS and delete it from your inbox.