Department of Revenue (DOR) is warning taxpayers not to “take the bait” this
tax season as fraudsters use phishing schemes to gain access to personal
financial information, including tax refunds.
come in many shapes and sizes,” DOR Commissioner Adam Krupp said in a
statement released this week. “Tax season is a particular time of year where
con artists focus their attention on finding ways to convince individuals to
give up their information. They go as far as using fear tactics and/or
creating communications that appear to be from an agency, such as DOR or the
Internal Revenue Service. Phishing schemes are serious business, and DOR
customers need to be on alert to prevent themselves from falling victim.
Customers need to know what to look for to ensure their data is safe.”
Tips to avoid being
--The email asks
customers to confirm personal information.
--The website and
email addresses do not look genuine or the URLs are shortened.
--The email is
poorly written. Look for grammar mistakes or odd phrases.
The email includes
a suspicious attachment. Never open attachments in emails unless they’re
from a trusted source.
--The message is
designed to make an individual panic and take immediate action.
--The email claims
to be from DOR or the IRS asking for personal information. Please note that
neither agency will ask for personal information via email.
“A new twist on
phishing schemes has fraudsters victimizing customers through their own bank
account,” DOR noted. “Criminals steal personal data, file a fraudulent tax
return, and then use the taxpayer's bank account to direct deposit the tax
refund. Thieves then use various tactics to reclaim the refund from the
taxpayer, including falsely claiming to be from a collection agency, DOR or
In addition, tax
professionals, payroll offices, and human resources staff should be on
high-alert when asked for W-2 or banking information. Criminals often pose
as employees and target these groups in search of personal information to
file fraudulent refunds.
“DOR wants everyone
to remain vigilant during tax season,” Krupp said. “When in doubt, contact
DOR or the IRS before clicking on any link or providing any information.
Remember DOR will never ask for sensitive taxpayer information through email
receive any unexpected or suspicious correspondence appearing to be from DOR
or the IRS, please report it to the IRS at email@example.com or (800)
829-1040; or to DOR at firstname.lastname@example.org or (317) 232-2240.