In recent years, the IRS has been aware of the many issues revolving around tax-related identity theft. The number of new victims is shrinking from year to year, but identity thieves are getting more creative. In this newsletter we will cover some of the most common scams and what we here at SBA are doing to keep your data safe.
One common way scammers try to steal personal information is through the use of phone calls impersonating IRS agents. These callers are very aggressive and use fear, tricking taxpayers by threatening arrest or some other punishment. Other phone scammers take the opposite approach and promise access to an unclaimed refund if they are given bank account information and social security numbers. Note: The caller ID's may appear legitimate, and they may have access to your name, address, and other personal information, which makes them even more convincing. Here are a few points to remember:
E-mail "phishing" scams are also common. Thieves pose as people or organizations you know and try to trick you into divulging personal information through e-mail. These are especially effective when thieves are able to hack into a friend or associate's account and send these messages to contacts. To protect yourself, remember these points:
Accounting and CPA firms have become targets for tax scams, as well. To protect your information, we at Soukup, Bush & Associates ensure that we are up-to-date with the latest in security technology and practices. One of these is the CaseWare Collaborate Client Portal, which allows us to send and receive sensitive information protected by state-of-the-art data centers operated by Amazon Web Services.
To ensure that your documents are sent and received safely, we have recently updated our security policy. As a result of the change, we will no longer send you any sensitive documents as password-protected e-mail attachments. Instead, we will upload all such files to your Client Portal account, where you can securely access them.
If you are unable to access the portal or have any other questions about keeping your information safe, please give us a call at (970) 223-2727.