The New York State Department of State's Division of Consumer Protection is alerting consumers to be wary of nationwide tax preparer scams. Scammers have been impersonating tax return websites to gain information, like your name and social security number, to file fraudulent tax returns. Though some e-mails can clearly be seen as a fake because they are short or lack content, other e-mails are very detailed and use pictures found on actual tax preparer websites (see example below). Once you click the link to the fake website, scammers gain access to your personal information by having you enter it directly onto their website. Once you do, they can use your social security number to file a fraudulent return in your name.
Scammers can be very good at falsifying websites, but there are a few ways to avoid falling into their trap:
- When opening e-mails, do not click any links. Users can hover over a link and examine the URL that appears. If it is a different website then the one you intended, DO NOT CLICK IT. These links can expose your computer to great risks.
- Type in the website you want to go to DIRECTLY into your web bar. By doing this, you prevent going to any harmful websites that can steal your data.
- For general tips about “phishing” go to the Division’s Phishing Scam Prevention Tips here.
Contact the Division of Consumer Protection:
For more information regarding scam prevention and mitigation, please contact the New York Department of State, Division of Consumer Protection at (518)-474-8583.