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How to avoid tax scams from cyber criminals

Being contacted by the IRS is a scary thing especially if you have done nothing wrong. Unfortunately, many taxpayers feel harassed by the IRS every year because they have fallen victim to identity theft. Identity theft is increasingly being used to file fraudulent returns which can result in an audit when a taxpayer files his or her legitimate return. It is important to have an experienced California tax attorney on your side to help you deal with the IRS and restore your good standing with the government.

The IRS recently warned of a wave of suspicious communications being made on its behalf. Apparently criminals are pretending to be the IRS and soliciting personal information to steal an individual's identity. These schemes are known as "phishing" scams and result in millions of dollars in theft losses every year. Many of the criminals involved in these scams even use the IRS logo or names of officials to make their communications seem more authentic.

It is important to remember that the IRS does not initiate contact to taxpayers through email to request financial or personal information. Any emails claiming to be from the IRS should be considered suspicious and forwarded to [email protected]. Remember not to reply to these emails, click on any links, or open any attachments.

Typically the IRS mails a letter or calls to contact a taxpayer. Letters or calls from the IRS usually mean that a taxpayer is under investigation and that it is time to call a tax attorney. If you receive a call and are unsure whether the person on the phone is a legitimate IRS employee then it is best to either contact your tax attorney or call the IRS directly at 1-(949) 751-6456 to determine whether the IRS actually contacted you.

Source: IRS, "Don't be Scammed by Cyber Criminals," IRS TAX TIP 2012-08, January 12, 2012

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