Thousands of people have lost millions of dollars and their personal information to tax scams. Be aware and stay alert of tax scams; they take many shapes and forms, such as phone calls, letters, and email.  Here’s what you should do if you encounter one of these common scams:

Phone Scams: Criminals pose as IRS employees and call victims, demanding immediate payment of so-called tax debt. The caller may use condescending tone and will often threaten to file a lawsuit, call the police or involve federal law enforcement if the victim does not comply. If you receive this type of call, hang up the phone. Know the IRS would never call to threaten or demand immediate tax payment.

Phishing: Criminals send an email to your personal or business account appearing to be from the IRS requesting sensitive information or requesting recipients to open an attachment or embedded link. If you receive these types of email, do not provide personal information, click on links or open attachments. Know that the IRS does not initiate contact by email or social media channels.

Fake Charities: Criminals set up fake charities to attract donations from unsuspecting contributors. The scammers prey on well-intentioned taxpayers, especially during times of distress, such as following a natural disaster. Take a few extra minutes to ensure that the charity is legitimate; don’t give out personal information and be wary of charities with names that resemble nationally-known charitable organizations.

For more information, regarding tax scams we encourage you to visit the IRS website.