Tax Fraud Online: 5 Tips to Avoid It

Tax season is a prime time for criminals. Criminals can file fraudulent tax returns in your name—and steal your tax refund. They may attempt identity theft through emails claiming false problems with your return or tax documents. Follow these tips to protect yourself.

Practice safe computing

Protect your personal devices and data and always be sure to use a secure Internet connection.

  1. File your taxes as soon as possible
    This prevents criminals from filing under your name, and will get you your tax refund (if you are eligible for one) faster.
  2. Know your tax filing merchants
    Use only Authorized IRS e-file Providers to file your taxes. If you’re filing on the web, make sure that the website URL starts with https to indicate a secure connection.
  3. Be suspicious of ads for tax filing services that promise you large or expedited tax refunds 
    These ads are often scams to steal your personal information.
  4. Beware of common identity theft and tax scams. 
    Information about many current tax scams can be found at the IRS web page Tax Scams/Consumer Alerts. See Phishing and Suspicious Email to learn how to protect yourself from phishing attacks.

If You Get Caught by a Tax Scam

See Identity Theft for what to do if your identity is stolen.

Additional Resources