National Tax Security Awareness Week opens with warnings

The Internal Revenue Service and the Security Summit today issued warnings to all taxpayers to beware of scams and identity theft schemes by criminals taking advantage of the combination of holiday shopping, the approaching tax season and coronavirus concerns.

The holiday shopping season combined with the impending tax season and an increased trend toward working remotely make online security an absolute necessity.

This year there is a dangerous combination of factors at play that should make people more alert.

A few simple steps to help protect tax and financial information:

  • Don’t forget to use security software for computers and mobile phones
  • Make sure purchased anti-virus software has a feature to stop malware
  • Phishing scams- like imposter emails, calls and texts are the No. 1 way thieves steal personal data
  • Use strong and unique passwords for online accounts
  • Shop at sites where the web address begins with “https”- the “s” is for secure communications
  • At home, secure home Wi-Fi’s with a password

The IRS will not call, text or email you about the Economic Impact Payment or your tax refund. Nor will the IRS call with threats of jail or lawsuits.