Tax-related Scams on the Rise as Filing Deadline Nears

As the deadline for filing taxes approaches in the United States, concerns over tax-related scams are escalating. Both old and new tactics are being employed by scammers to target unsuspecting taxpayers and tax professionals alike. Taxpayers are particularly vulnerable during this time as they hurry to submit their federal income tax returns. Scammers are capitalizing on this urgency, utilizing various schemes to extract money or sensitive personal information from individuals.

IRS Warnings and New Scams

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is issuing warnings regarding several prevalent scams. One such scheme involves deceptive mailings arriving in cardboard envelopes from delivery services. These letters, adorned with the IRS logo and contact details, falsely claim to relate to unclaimed refunds.

Another common tactic is through phone calls, with scammers posing as IRS agents and pressuring victims into believing they owe money. Recent immigrants are often targeted, with threats of arrest or deportation if payment isn’t made promptly.

Diverse Scam Techniques

The IRS is cautioning against multiple scam strategies, including tax identity theft, phishing scams via email, and unethical tax preparers who manipulate refunds. Furthermore, scammers exploit online searches for tax assistance by purchasing ads that lead to fake websites or offer counterfeit tax filing software loaded with

Professionals in Peril

Tax professionals aren’t immune to these scams either. The IRS warns of a “new client” scam where cybercriminals pose as potential clients via email, tricking tax preparers into clicking malicious links or attachments that compromise their systems.

Additionally, attackers target tax professionals directly, attempting to steal Electronic Filing Identification Numbers (EFINs) under the guise of verification requests from tax software providers.

Protecting Against Scams

To safeguard against tax-related scams, individuals are advised to obtain an Identity Protection PIN, access the legitimate IRS website, share personal information securely, use reputable tax software, and enable multi-factor authentication. It’s crucial to promptly report any suspicious activity to the authorities.

Tax professionals should exercise caution when dealing with new clients, scrutinizing emails for signs of phishing attempts or fraudulent requests for sensitive information.

Constant Adaptation

Scammers are adept at adjusting their tactics to exploit tax season vulnerabilities globally. While there may not be a surge in overall scam activity, the focus on tax-related topics remains consistent, with attackers aiming to deceive individuals into engaging with their schemes.


With the tax filing deadline looming, vigilance is paramount to avoid falling victim to scams. By staying informed and taking proactive measures to protect personal and financial information, individuals can mitigate the risks posed by malicious actors seeking to exploit tax season vulnerabilities.


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