Scam artists are constantly coming up with new ways to fool you. (ddp)

According to the IRS, thousands of people have lost millions of dollars and their personal information to tax scams. Scammers use the regular mail, telephone, or email to set up individuals, businesses, payroll and tax professionals.

Keep in mind that the IRS doesn'tinitiate contact with taxpayers by email, text messages or social media channels to request personal or financial information. But that doesn't mean that scammers won't try anyway.

Here are a few examples of sophisticated tax scams:

  • Scammers send emails posing as the IRS, tax preparers or “Offer in Compromise” companies by spoofing emails and using stolen logos. Any personal information you provide is used to steal your identity.
  • Scammers may pose as the IRS pressuring you to pay outstanding tax debts immediately or they may claim they can help settle tax debts for “pennies on the dollar” and insist there is a limited window in which to act.
  • Scammers send out emails advising a tax return has already been filed on your SSN, an account has been opened in your name, or you receive a tax transcript you did not request in an attempt to collect your personal information.
  • Similar to the scams above, the bad guys send look-alike emails containing hyperlinks that lead you to malicious websites or fake PDF attachments that download malware or viruses to your computer.
  • Tax scams aren’t limited to emails! Be on the lookout for calls or text messages impersonating the IRS claiming you have an outstanding balance that must be paid immediately. The bad guys typically threaten arrests, deportation, or suspension of business or driver’s license.

These are only a few examples and these scam artists are constantly coming up with new ways to fool you. Monitor the IRS web page on tax scams for more information.

How to protect yourself?

Always remember the following during tax season, and all year long:

  • The IRS will always mail a bill before calling you about taxes due. The IRS does not use emails or text messages to discuss tax matters.
  • The IRS will never immediately threaten to arrest you or ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
  • The IRS will not demand taxes be paid without giving taxpayers the opportunity to question or appeal the amount owed, or call unexpectedly about a tax refund.
  • Minimize personal information shared on Social Media.
  • Keep your devices up to date with the latest software updates, change passwords frequently, and never ever open a file or click on a link from an untrusted source.
  • Store tax documents and other sensitive information in a secure location. Do not leave them in a web based email account.
  • Only share sensitive data over email when there is no other alternative, and you’re certain the recipient is valid.

Maximize your return this tax season by staying alert to these scams and protecting your personal identity.

UBS is committed to keeping our clients' information safe. We have specialist teams working day in and day out to safeguard our clients' banking data, commercial information and financial assets.

Please note that this item is approved for use with clients and prospects

(For Public Distribution)

Expiration: 3/31/24

Approval date: 3/15/2023

Review Code: IS2301703