In times past, scam artists and masters of fraud generally operated in person or by paper mail. In today’s hi-tech world, however, scam artists have become much more sophisticated. Identity theft, Nigerian scams, and a host of other fraudulent activities are, unfortunately, quite common on the web. Another area that fraudsters love attempting to bilk innocent victims out of their hard-earned money is in the arena of taxes. In this article, we are going to discuss two the most common tax scams and how you can protect yourself against them.
We Need More Information
One way that scam artists take advantage of people is by posing as the IRS. A common scam is to send an email to someone that requests more personal information in order to process a tax return. Typically, the email will ask for social security number and other sensitive personal information. Of course, the scam artist is simply leveraging the general public’s fear of the IRS, as many people will unknowingly grant this information.
You Are Due More Money
A second way scam artists will prey on people is by again posing as the IRS via email, but in this scam, a person will be informed that the IRS miscalculated their tax refund and they are due more money from the U.S. government. Of course, everyone wants to get this message from the IRS! Scam artists will again attempt to steal identity by asking for bank wire information and other critical financial information.
How To Protect Yourself
The first thing to understand is that the IRS will never contact you via email. The IRS will send an official letter that can then be confirmed by calling the IRS and verifying the information. Furthermore, the IRS will never ask for personal information via email. If a person understands this, then it virtually becomes impossible fall prey to these two particular schemes.
The truth is that scam artists understand human emotion very well. Therefore, financial scams typically revolve around the emotions of greed or fear. Typically, a scam artist will prey on a person’s greed for money, or they will prey on a person’s fear of losing money. Therefore, any time you are presented with a small business loan or other financial “opportunity,” it can always be useful to use remember this and ask yourself if this could be a scam. Typically, a good dose of common sense and healthy skepticism can help a person tremendously.
Post was by SBLD.