The 2022 tax season began on January 24th. As the IRS has already received reports of potential glitches regarding certain sects of taxpayers, the government agency is now warning Americans to beware when sharing sensitive personal information such as social security numbers virtually.
Always diligent in releasing the most updated tax information, The U.S. Sun has laid out for Outsiders exactly how individuals will be able to tell whether or not their forms and other information have been hacked.
According to the outlet, the IRS estimates about 160 million individual claims will be submitted for 2021. With that, it offers hackers 160 million opportunities to wreak havoc on American families.
So, with that, we have information as to how you can determine whether your forms and information are safe.
Better Business Bureau’s Jessie Schmidt urges Americans to be vigilant in checking the authenticity and accuracy of their tax forms. Schmidt also encourages individuals to research the validity of tax preparers.
Further, Outsiders should be wary of sharing any tax-related information across social media. Special Agent in Charge, Andy Tsui, said, “If you’re seeing something online or even on social media, before you take an actual step forward in providing information even paying for something, just take a step back.”
Tsui said those who don’t use caution in sharing sensitive tax information are “more susceptible” to becoming victims of fraud.
Outsiders should know that, if the IRS does have a need of contacting you, they will not reach out on social media but typically mail letters to those who owe taxes.
How to Report Suspicious Activity This Tax Season
Avoiding fraud this tax season is definitely important, however, to keep scammers from sinking their teeth into other potentially vulnerable Americans, the IRS has information regarding how to report suspicious activity and experiences.
The IRS states fraudulent experiences may range from illegitimate paperwork to unwarranted phone calls. Recipients of these fraudulent calls or papers should report their experience immediately. The news outlet encourages Americans to take down the phone number of the caller then hang up right away.
From there, contact the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. You can do so by either submitting an IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting form or calling 800-366-4484.
Additionally, the news outlet also stated those receiving strange phone calls or documents should report the issue via email. Simply contact [email protected] and put in the subject line, “IRS Phone Scam.”
While the IRS begins work for the 2022 tax season, hackers create further issues for the government agency. Alongside the most recent fraudulent occurrences, the agency is also facing its own labor shortage, hitting the ground with 20,000 fewer employees than it had a decade ago.
Further, the IRS is continuing to work through delays in pandemic-related stimulus checks and payments.