Tax Season Fraud Prevention Tips
Your best weapon against scams, phishing, and identity theft is knowing what to look out for.
At OHecu, one of our most important priorities is helping our members build and protect their financial futures.
And with the return of tax season, scammers and fraudsters are looking to take advantage of unsuspecting consumers. As a result, here are a few things to keep in mind and be on the lookout for to help safeguard you and your finances.
Fraudulent IRS Agent Calls
One of the most common tactics of criminals is to make aggressive phone calls posing as IRS agents in hopes of stealing taxpayer money or personal information. Please keep in mind that the IRS will never do any of the following:
- Call to demand immediate payment using a specific payment method such as a prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer.
- The IRS will first mail a bill to any taxpayer who owes taxes.
- Threaten to immediately bring in local police or other law enforcement groups to have the taxpayer arrested for not paying.
- Demand that taxes be paid without giving taxpayers the opportunity to question or appeal the amount owed.
- Call unexpectedly about a tax refund.
If you receive one of these calls, make note of the number and then hang up the phone immediately. You can report the number to the IRS by visiting their official website.*
As a reminder, the IRS doesn't initiate contact with taxpayers via email, text messages, or social media to request personal or financial information.
Phishing is a scam typically carried out through unsolicited emails and/or websites that pose as legitimate before luring unsuspecting victims to provide personal and financial information.**
There are several examples of phishing campaigns that criminals utilize. However, given the current situation with Russia and Ukraine, researchers have reported an increase of consumers receiving warnings that someone has logged into their account from an IP address in Moscow.^
The email contains a button to report the issue which opens a pre-filled message to be sent to a specific email account. If users send the email, the attackers then try and rope consumers into the scam.
Don't risk scammers getting hold of any of your personal or financial details: do not respond to the email and delete it immediately.
We're Here to Help
If you ever have concerns regarding the security of your OHecu accounts, the Member Service Center is here to help and can be reached by calling 216-621-6296 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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