In the midst of tax season, we want to share some reminders of potential scams that consumers could encounter related to filing and receiving tax refunds.
Emails, texts, websites, and phone calls appearing to be from the IRS (may even contain the logo or provide information about the recipient), tax preparers or even OU Credit Union, but are not legitimate, are prevalent this time of year. If a link is clicked or response is provided to the message, the recipient could become the victim of identity theft or account takeover. The IRS primarily communicates via postal mail. It is best to research and use a trusted source for contact information to reach out to a potential tax preparer, someone claiming to be able to assist with filing, or if it appears to be coming from the Credit Union. Learn more about tax scams here
SSNs and other personally identifiable information (PII) that have been compromised (stolen) can be used to file a false return and prompts the return to go to the fraudster. A good way to combat this is to file your taxes promptly. In addition, the IRS will provide individual taxpayers with a six-digit code that is required to be included on the individual's income tax return. This will protect someone whose SSN has been compromised from becoming a victim of identity theft, as the fraudster will not know the code. The PIN is only valid for a single year and requires the consumer to verify their identity. Learn more about how to protect yourself from tax related identity theft here