IRS warning! Watch out for these tax-themed phishing and malware scams

IRS warning! Watch out for these tax-themed phishing and malware scams

Tax Day is nearly upon us and millions of Americans will be rushing to get their returns to the Internal Revenue Service by the federal deadline.

The IRS says that, as the 2017 tax filing season winds down to the April 18 deadline, tax-related scams of various sorts are at their peak. Typically, the tax return filing date falls on April 15, but this year that day falls on a Saturday.

You can find the IRS "Where's My Refund" tool here. One new scam, for instance, sees the criminals pose as taxpayers asking their tax preparer to make a last-minute change to their refund destination, sending it to a prepaid debit card instead. The IRS urges tax preparers to verbally reconfirm information with the client should they receive last-minute email request to change an address or direct deposit account for refunds. In its alert, IRS said that both taxpayers and professionals are the targets of this phishing scam.

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Sullivan added that scammers are also targeting tax preparers with emails, text messaging and telephone calls where they pretend to be from tax software vendors, financial institutions and the Internal Revenue Service.

If you know you owe taxes or think you might owe, call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040. The Security Summit initiative also maintains a public awareness campaign for taxpayers and for tax professionals.

Another version involves a taxpayer receiving an email from their tax software provider or prepare asking them to update their online account by providing the schemer with Social Security numbers, passwords, and bank account information.