Published in Mic
Tax season is stressful enough without having to worry about someone stealing your identity and pocketing your refund. But you need to be extra vigilant in the era of electronic tax filing: Tax fraud is on the rise, with the the IRS reporting a 400% increase in phishing and malware schemes in 2016.
You probably already know that the IRS isn’t going to send you an email or give you a call. But with scammers getting ever more sophisticated, you can never be to careful with your most private financial information.
Here are five important steps you can take right now to protect yourself:
4. Know how to spot fake IRS communication.
“The IRS will only notify you by mail,” Ori Eisen, CEO of online security company Trusona, told Mic. “Don’t respond to a phone call, text message or email saying the person is from the IRS, especially if they are asking for you to provide your social security number.”