Each year the IRS publishes the top dozen tax scams it encounters over the prior year. One of them that makes an all too common appearance on their list is the phishing scam. Here is what you need to know.
Phishing requires bait
Phishing is the act of creating a fake e-mail or website that looks like the real thing. This "bait" is then used to bring you into the scam by asking for private information. This includes your name, address, or phone number. It could also include potentially dangerous ID theft information like your Social Security number, a credit card number or banking information. The bait is often very real looking - just like correspondence from the IRS or the IRS web site.
How to avoid the lure
How do you know the phishing is fake? Here are some tips.
What do phishers do?
When the phishers have your information, they can file false tax returns requesting refunds, steal bank information, set up fake credit cards, establish false IDs, plus much more. Remember, if it smells like a phish, it probably is.
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