Tax season in the U.S. means that you should be on the lookout for identity theft and fraud schemes via email and the telephone.

By Mark Leary, chief information security officer, Xerox

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has issued an advisory warning to United States citizens about potential tax season scams. Taxpayers must protect themselves against schemes ranging from identity theft, return-preparer fraud and even phone call scams.

TaxFormsTax season phishing campaigns may include, but are not limited to:

  • Information that refers to a tax refund.
  • Warnings about unreported or under-reported income.
  • Offers to assist in filing for a refund.
  • Links to counterfeit e-file websites.

All of these phishing schemes appear to be from the IRS. They ask users to submit personal information via email, or include links to sites that request personal information. To protect yourself against these types of phishing scams you should take the following measures:

  • Do not follow links in unsolicited email messages.
  • Keep antivirus software up to date.
  • If you believe you have received a phishing email, report it to the IRS by forwarding the email to phishing@irs.gov. Then delete the email.

Learn more from the IRS website.