CONSUMER ALERT: 5 Tips to Avoid Tax Scams

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Tax season is a busy time for scammers looking to steal your money and personal information. AG Racine urges taxpayers to take these simple tips to keep their information safe this tax season:

  • Beware of scammers claiming to be from the IRS who contact you by phone or email: The IRS does not initiate contact with consumers via telephone, email, or any other electronic communication, including text messages or social media. The IRS will only initiate contact with you via mail. Scammers can use software to mimic telephone number on your Caller ID, so don’t let your guard down if you receive a call from what looks like an official IRS telephone number.
  • Don’t click on links in emails: Never click on a link or open an attachment in an email asking you to retrieve your W-2 or verify personal information, even if the email appears to come from your employer or human resource department. Call your employer directly to verify how you can retrieve this tax document.
  • Evaluate your tax professional: Beware of tax professionals promising a large refund before reviewing your paperwork. Trust your instinct—if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Never pay your taxes or a tax professional by wiring money, paying with a gift card, or sending cash: Once you’ve paid with cash, gift card, or wire transfer, there is no way to get your money  back. If you can, it is always better to make payments with a credit card.
  • Authenticate your tax filings: If you have been a victim of a recent data breach involving Social Security numbers or you are concerned that your Social Security number may be used to file a fraudulent tax return in your name, you can obtain a six-digit PIN from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to use to authenticate your tax filings. Visit the IRS’s website at

Due to the federal government shutdown, most IRS operations are closed. If you believe you have been the victim of a scam, contact OAG by calling 202-442-9828, emailing, or submitting a complaint online.

For more tips and information on common scams, visit the IRS website.