Scammers always adapt to the ever-changing environment, and we want to remind you to be on high alert for some of the new ways these thieves are working to steal your information. It is important to be vigilant with your personal information year-round; however, with the recent economic stimulus packages and a busy tax season, everyone should be especially mindful and focus on identity protection. Here are some of the new ways scammers are attempting to steal your information:
- Spoofing reputable businesses through caller ID. If you receive an unplanned call from a business that you regularly work with asking for personal information, before sharing any details, call that business on its direct line to confirm that it was indeed a request from them.
- Spoofing emails from trusted advisors or reputable organizations. Scammers will try to get you to click on a link or open a document that could place malware or spyware on your computer or handheld devices. Once they have infiltrated your technology system, they can access your personal data without you even knowing. Do not open any attachments, click on any links, reply to the sender, or take any other actions that could put you at risk.
- Calls or emails from someone impersonating the IRS asking for personal information. The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email to request personal or financial information. The IRS has specific steps they take to communicate with taxpayers, and they share tips on how to know if the communicator is truly from the IRS or an impersonator here.
Due to the many changes in 2020 to help businesses and taxpayers navigate the economic hardships related to the pandemic, scammers have found more opportunities to steal your personal information and identities. Make sure you are alert to calls or emails that are unexpected. If you question the validity of that contact, do not share information or click on anything. Instead, contact the business or organization using their verified public contact information.