Tax Scams to Look for in 2024

Every taxpayer should be vigilant this year as tax season as 2024 is once again prime time for scammers to attempt to steal money and personal information.  The complexity of the tax code, combined with the widespread anxiety about IRS regulations, creates fertile ground for fraudsters.  Awareness and understanding of the most common tax scams can help you stay better protected.  Here are some specific scams to watch out for:

Advanced Phishing Techniques

In 2024, phishing scams have grown more sophisticated, utilizing AI-generated emails and messages that closely mimic legitimate communications from the IRS or tax software providers.  Watch out for emails or texts that prompt you to click on links or open attachments claiming to be tax documents or updates.  The IRS maintains a strict policy against initiating contact with taxpayers via email, text, or social media for personal financial information.  Verify the authenticity of any communication through official IRS channels.

VoIP-based Phone Scams

Voice-over Inter Protocol (VoIP) technology has enabled scammers to more effectively spoof caller IDs, making fraudulent calls appear to originate from the IRS or other agencies.  These calls might include threats of jail time or fines if immediate payment is not made.  It’s vital to know that the IRS will first mail a bill to any taxpayer owing taxes and does not demand immediate payment over the phone or threaten taxpayers with law enforcement.

Credential Compromise in Tax Preparer Fraud

Be exceedingly cautious when choosing a tax preparer in 2024.  With increasing incidents of data breaches, ensure your tax preparer uses state-of-the-art security measures to protect your sensitive information.  Verify a preparer’s qualifications through the IRS’s Directory of Federal Tax Return Preparers with Credentials and Select Qualifications.  Avoid preparers who claim they can secure larger refunds than others or base their fees on a percentage of the refund.

Enhanced Identity Theft Techniques

Tax-related identity theft remains a significant threat, with fraudsters employing more advanced methods to obtain personal information, such as through breaches of financial institutions or social engineering attacks.  Safeguard your Social Security number and be cautious about sharing personal information, especially on social media.  If your identity has been compromised, respond promptly to any IRS notice and consider filing Form 14039 – Identity Theft Affidavit.

Misuse of Real Charity Names

Scammers have begun to misuse the names of real charities to lure victims into making non-deductible donations.  Before donating, use the IRS’s Tax-Exempt Organization Search tool to verify the charity’s legitimacy and tax-exempt status.  Be skeptical of any charity request via unsolicited email or social media messages.

Updated Scam Defense Strategies for 2024

  • Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA): Enable MFA on all tax-related accounts to add an extra layer of security.
  • Early Filing: File your tax return as early as possible to limit the opportunity for identity thieves to file fraudulently in your name.
  • Fully Managed Restoration Services: Restoration services offer a human-to-human connection to help navigate many issues related to tax scams and other frauds.
  • Secure Networks: Only use secure, private Wi-Fi networks when filing your taxes online to prevent data interception.
  • IRS Identity Protection PIN: Consider opting into the IRS IP PIN program, which provides a unique six-digit PIN to secure your tax filings further.


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