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Tax scams are on the rise — here’s how to protect sensitive info

WASHINGTON — While minimizing what you owe or increasing your refund is usually the goal during tax season, protecting yourself from scams also should be a top priority.

The Secret Service’s Global Investigative Operations Center issued a tax season phishing alert, saying large-scale scams are on the rise, luring unsuspecting victims in with emails from what appear to be reputable companies asking for personal information.

Staying alert and watching out for sophisticated email phishing scams and harassing phone calls could save you from putting sensitive information, such as credit card numbers and passwords, at risk.

According to GIOC, human resources employees are being targeted in an attempt to obtain tax-related documents.

To avoid becoming a victim:

  • Verify any requests for information are from a legitimate source.
  • Visit websites by going directly to the company’s website instead of clicking on links.
  • Never click on email links or open any attachments from an unknown or suspected fraudulent email address.
  • If you are contacted by someone asking for information by phone, hang up, look up the phone number for the institution and call back.

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