Just like “build it and they will come” was theme in “Field of Dreams” …in the e-commerce world – “where there’s money, thieves will come calling” (e.g., e-commerce attacks during holidays) … During the tax refund season, users need to be vigilant and careful to avoid the multitude of scams currently circulating.
QUOTE: As part of a look at the impact of identity theft and the Internal Revenue Service, watchdogs at the Government Accountability Office issued the IRS’ top 10 list of identity theft information everyone should be aware of. Some of the information is obvious, perhaps, but overall even the basics of security were followed in many cases the impact of identity theft could be reduced. From the GAO: In 2010 alone, IRS identified more than 245,000 identity theft incidents that affected the tax system. The hundreds of thousands of taxpayers with tax problems caused by identity theft represent a small percentage of the expected 140 million individual returns filed, but for those affected, the problems can be quite serious.
The following are the Dirty Dozen tax scams from the IRS for 2014:
1. Identity Theft
2. Pervasive Telephone Scams
4. False Promises or If Its Too Good To Be True
5. Return Preparer Fraud
6. Hiding Income Offshore (scams to hide income)
7. Impersonation of Charitable Organizations
8. False Income, Expenses or Exemptions
9. Frivolous Arguments (outlandish claims to avoid taxes owed)
10. Falsely Claiming Zero Wages or Using False Form 1099
11. Abusive Tax Structures
12. Misuse of Trusts (when taxpayers are transferring wealth from one generation to another
In another article, The IRS lists 10 tips related to identify theft:
IRS – 10 things to know about identity theft http://www.networkworld.com/news/2011/060211-irs-top-10.html
1. The IRS does not initiate contact with a taxpayer by email
2. If you receive a scam email claiming to be from the IRS
3. Identity thieves get your personal information by many different means
4. Website that claims to be the IRS but does not begin with “www.irs.gov”
5. To learn how to identify a secure website, visit the Federal Trade Commission
6. If your Social Security number is stolen, another individual may use it to get a job. That person’s employer may then report income earned to the IRS
7. Your identity may have been stolen if a letter from the IRS indicates wages from an employer you don’t know.
8. If you believe you may be at risk due to a lost wallet, questionable credit card activity or credit report, you need to provide the IRS with proof of your identity.
9. Do not routinely carry your card or other documents that display your Social Security number.
10. For more information about identity theft visit the IRS Identity Theft and Your Tax Records Page