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Urgent IRS warning as scammers are targeting your taxes and trying to steal your identity – how to protect yourself

HOLIDAY ALERT

The IRS is sending out a warning as scammers are targeting peoples’ taxes to steal delicate information, including their identities. 

As the holiday season and upcoming tax season roll around, it is more important than ever to protect your personal information 

When shopping online or reading emails and text messages, the IRS urges that people take extra precautions.

“Don’t let this be the most wonderful time of the year for identity thieves,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig in a press release. 

“The approach of the holidays and tax season increases risk for taxpayers and opportunities for criminals. 

“We urge people to be extra careful with their personal and financial information during this period while shopping online or getting suspicious emails or texts.

“Taking a few simple steps can keep people from becoming victims of identity theft and protect their sensitive personal information needed for tax returns and refunds.”

There are a few easy ways to avoid having your identity stolen. First and foremost, never respond to an email or phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS.

If you’re unsure if the person you’re in contact with is from the IRS, have your tax professional call the IRS to get to the bottom of the situation. 

Also, you should never give your social security number or any kind of taxpayer identification to someone through an email.

“Your tax preparer should have a secure portal you can use to upload all of the information they need from you,” said Tom Wheelwright, CEO of WealthAbility.

“If you are a victim of identity theft of any kind, notify your tax professional immediately so they can help you take the appropriate steps with the IRS.”

The IRS is adding a special emphasis on tax scams and fraud education with younger and older Americans through their 6th annual National Tax Security Awareness Week. 

If someone doesn’t file a tax return, their online interactions can lead to scam artists getting their information, said the IRS.

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