How to Avoid Getting Scammed During Tax Season


from Council on Aging

As a new tax season begins, keep in mind scammers will be revving up their efforts to steal YOUR money.  The scams come in different forms: phishing emails, harassing phone calls and tax return identity theft.

Here are some steps to help keep your identity and money safe:

  • File taxes early to avoid scammers
  • Be cautious about tax-related emails. Go to the website and log directly into your account for relevant information
  • Hang up on IRS impersonator phone calls
  • Report suspicious emails or phone calls ASAP
  • Shred bank and tax documents before throwing away
  • Update your security software

The IRS offers an option called Identity Protection PIN (IP PIN) that assigns a unique six-digit code to eligible taxpayers that helps limit fraudulent tax returns. There is more information available at

Here are some reminders about the IRS. They will NEVER:

  • Call about past due taxes without having mailed several notices first
  • Call to demand payment with threats to involve law enforcement and have you arrested 
  • Call or email asking you to divulge personal and/or financial information
  • Require payment without allowing you to appeal or even question the amount due
  • Require you to use a specific payment method like a pre-paid debit card 
  • Ask for your credit/debit card and/or bank information over the phone

These tips were provided by The Council on Aging of Middle Tennessee, an agency that  strives to ensure that the community values, honors and supports older adults and caregivers by addressing unmet needs through information, advocacy and education and by being a catalyst for comprehensive solutions.

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