Dirty Dozen: Beware of Scammers Offering “Help” with Your IRS Online Account – Identity Theft Risk Ahead!

Dirty Dozen: Beware of Scammers Offering “Help” with Your IRS Online Account – Identity Theft Risk Ahead!

Heads up, everyone! The IRS is warning taxpayers to be on high alert for sneaky scammers who offer to “help” set up an Online Account on IRS.gov. This seemingly innocent offer puts your tax and financial information at risk of identity theft. And nobody wants that, right?

Now, don’t get us wrong – the IRS Online Account is a pretty nifty tool for accessing your tax info. But in the wrong hands, it’s like handing over the keys to your financial castle. Scammers are always coming up with new ways to steal your information, and this is just their latest trick.

Picture this: You get a call from a “helpful” person offering to set up your IRS Online Account for you. Sounds great, right? Wrong! These scam artists are just trying to get their hands on your sensitive tax information so they can file a fraudulent tax return in your name and snatch that sweet refund you’ve been waiting for. Ouch!

This third-party online account scam is the latest addition to the IRS’s annual Dirty Dozen campaign, which warns taxpayers about the top 12 scams and schemes that put your money, personal data, and sanity at risk. Some of these scams are brand new, while others are making an unwelcome comeback.

But don’t fret – the IRS, state tax agencies, and the nation’s tax industry are working together to protect taxpayers from identity thieves and their sneaky hoaxes. They’ve been warning people to be cautious about common scams each tax season, and the Dirty Dozen is here to help you stay safe.

So, what can you do to avoid falling victim to these third-party scammers? It’s simple: steer clear of anyone offering to help you create an IRS Online Account. You can set up your account all by yourself on IRS.gov – no help needed! And remember, never share your sensitive personal data over the phone, email, or social media.

If you come across someone promoting these improper and abusive tax schemes or a tax return preparer who’s up to no good, the IRS wants to know. You can report them by mailing or faxing a completed Form 14242, along with any supporting material, to the IRS Lead Development Center. Or, if you’re feeling extra courageous, send the information to the IRS Whistleblower Office for a possible monetary reward. Who doesn’t love a good bounty?

Stay vigilant, taxpayers! Together, we can put an end to these scams and keep our financial information safe and secure.

***Disclaimer: This communication is not intended as tax advice, and no tax accountant -client relationship results**

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