Discovering that you have become a tax scam victim is undoubtedly distressing. Whether you have received a deceptive communication, divulged sensitive information, or encountered fraudulent activities, immediate steps can help mitigate the impact of the scam.
Crucial Steps to Follow When You are a Tax Scam Victim
If you suspect you might be a victim of a scam, follow these crucial steps:
Identity Theft Affidavit: If your identity has been used to file another tax return, complete an Identity Theft Affidavit, print it, and mail it with your tax return. You can also request a copy of the fraudulent return.
Verify Tax Owings: If someone claims you owe taxes, verify the amount owed on the official IRS payments page. Any discrepancies indicate a potential imposter. If you suspect you are dealing with an imposter, end the communication and keep any received fraudulent documents to report the scam.
Cancel Transactions and Inform Companies: If you sent money to a fraudster, cancel the transaction immediately. If you disclosed bank or credit card information, contact the fraud department of the relevant company. Request an immediate freeze or cancellation of your account.
Protect Your Identity: Set up a fraud alert or credit freeze with the three credit bureaus. Strengthen your account security with unique passwords and implement two-factor authentication.
Consider Identity Theft Protection: Even after resolving a tax scam, consider identity theft protection. Criminals may use your information for various fraudulent activities, such as opening unauthorized loans, committing bank scams, changing your address, intercepting your mail, or even committing crimes using your name.
Proactive Efforts to Minimize Long-term Consequences
By promptly addressing the situation, you mitigate the potential financial impact and take essential measures to safeguard your identity. Proactive efforts now can go a long way in minimizing the long-term consequences of this unfortunate situation.
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