Avoid being scammed this tax season

Thousands of people have lost millions of dollars and their personal information to tax scammers, who use email, regular mail, social media, and the telephone to trick you.

There’s many different types of scams, from people impersonating agents to emails with fake links, to a supposed IRS refund.

No matter the scam, here are some tools to protect yourself against information predators.

When spotting a scam, remember that the IRS does not:

-Call to demand immediate payment using a specific payment method such as a prepaid debit card, gift card, or wire transfer. Generally the IRS will mail a bill to any taxpayer who owes taxes.

-Demand that you pay taxes without the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.

-Threaten to bring in police, immigration officers, or other law enforcement to have you arrested for not paying.

If you owe the IRS, in most cases, you’ll only pay the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

If an IRS representative visits you, he or she will always provide two forms of official credentials. You have the right to see these credentials and verify their authenticity.

The IRS can assign certain cases to private debt collectors, but only after giving the taxpayer and his or her representative, if one is appointed, written notice.