BBB Warns: Beware of Tax Scams

February 05, 2014

Around tax time, thousands of emails, faxes, and phone calls begin circulating, claiming to be from the IRS. BBB is warning tax payers - don't fall victim to tax scams! Remember — if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

BBB warns, be wary of any communications claiming to be from the IRS!

Phone Calls: Don’t talk to anyone claiming to be from the IRS on the phone. The IRS will not call you. Identity thieves pose as IRS collection personnel offering you a refund – just provide your personal information! Don’t fall for this! The IRS has your personal information!

Emails: The IRS will not send an email to you. If you receive an email, supposedly from the IRS, forward it to

Person Information: The IRS will not ask for your personal information, including your bank or credit card numbers, account PIN, passwords, or mother’s maiden name.

BBB shares these common IRS scams:

The scam: Beware of emails with links that take you to 3rd party sites asking for your personal information in order to get your refund.

The scam: An “IRS representative" calls, saying a mistake was made on your taxes and the IRS owes you money. All they need is your banking account information to deposit the funds.

The scam: TurboTax sends you an email asking you to download updates, to comply with IRS requirements. However, the download is a virus that can wreck your computer’s security. TurboTax will not email you about updates. Check for updates from within the program.

BBB reminds you that the official IRS website ends in “.gov.” Any IRS web address that does not begin with should be forwarded to Also, if you believe your personal information has been stolen and used for tax purposes, you should immediately contact the IRS at 800-908-4490.

Something else to consider: While most tax return preparers are professionals who provide honest and excellent services to their clients, according to the IRS, some “make basic errors or engage in fraud and other illegal activities.” You can always Start with Trust by checking out a company’s track record at or call 1-800-388-2222.