Blog Security tip of the week: Don’t fall for the IRS tax scam
Alex Lloyd February 1, 2019

Security tip of the week: Don’t fall for the IRS tax scam

Welcome to Hotspot Shield’s “Security Tip of the Week”, where we offer helpful suggestions to protect you and your family online. This week: How to spot the telltale signs of an IRS tax scam.


It’s that time of year: Our W2s and 1099s have arrived in the mail, we’ve filed our taxes with hopes that a nice refund is headed our way, only to find a phone call from the IRS saying that, in fact, you owe a bunch of money, and if you don’t pay now, they’ll be forced to have you arrested.

You wouldn’t believe how many people fall for this and pay up.

Yes, this giant scam costs Americans millions of dollars each year. The IRS will never call you. If you owe money, or they have questions, correspondence will always arrive via mail. If you get a call from someone claiming to be from the IRS, you know with 100% certainty that it’s a scam.

Now, these callers are clever. They may have gone through your social media feeds and other accounts and have a bunch of info on you. You may think, “how could they know all that if this wasn’t legit?” Don’t fall for it. In today’s world, it’s easy to find information on a person. And don’t fall for their scare tactics. Intimidation and fear is how they get people to cough up money.

If you’re unsure during the call, or simply want to make certain, tell them you’ll go to the IRS’s official website and call the number back directly. There, you can be doubly sure that the call you received was from a scam artist.

During this time of year, IRS tax scam calls are ripe. Just remember: The IRS never calls people. So don’t fall for it.

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About Alex Lloyd

Alex Lloyd heads Pango's content department. Before joining the team, he was a former professional race car driver—competing in the Indianapolis 500 four times—and has spent the past decade writing content for major publications such as Yahoo and CNN.

View all posts by Alex Lloyd
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