IRS issues scam warning ahead of tax season, offers 10 security tips
GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) – During the last year, there has been an increase in scams, identity theft, ransomware and unemployment identity theft, so cyber criminals are hard at work. Now, consumer experts are looking ahead to tax season to see what things scammers are targeting, and aim to make it more secure for people.
Action 2 News discussed those items with Christopher Miller, the IRS spokesperson for Wisconsin, on the heels of National Tax Security Week.
“First of all, we always expect to see a spike in scams around the holiday season, but we’re expecting it to be worse this year, because we know the crooks are using new ways – new lures, new buzzwords, new ways to attract new victims,” said Miller. “The IRS Security Summit, which is a partnership between software providers and state agencies has been rather successful in ways to combat tax identity theft, but that means the crooks are looking for new ways to attract victims. They’re using new ways like messaging, and buzz words like ‘COVID’ and ‘stimulus’. In fact, in Wisconsin alone this year, the Federal Trade Commission reports 6,000 cases where there was identity theft or fraud related to those two terms alone: COVID or stimulus – and that resulted in about $6 million in losses to the people of Wisconsin, and a thousand of those cases are related to online shopping, so we want you to know this is a significant problem that isn’t going away, and to make sure people remain vigilant.”