skip to Main Content
Safeguard yourself with these fraud protection tips, tools and resources.

Avoid tax scams like a pro with these helpful tips

Updated Feb. 14, 2024, at 3:05 p.m. CT

Taxpayers aren’t the only ones who hope for a tax refund.

“Fraudsters constantly try to steal identities,” said Jill Gogel, assistant vice president, fraud services at Dupaco Community Credit Union. “And during tax season, they also try to steal tax refunds.”

Learn how to watch for—and avoid—tax scams this tax season.

Tax scams emerge during tax season

Thousands of people have lost millions of dollars and their personal information to tax scams, the Internal Revenue Service said.

Scammers use the regular mail, telephone and email to set up individuals, businesses, payroll and tax professionals.

Remember: The IRS doesn’t initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text messages or social media channels to request personal or financial information.

The IRS has reported scammers stealing client data from tax professionals and filing fraudulent tax returns, using the taxpayers’ real bank accounts for the deposit. Thieves then use various tactics—like posing as debt collection agency employees and IRS officials—to reclaim the refund from the taxpayers.

“Ultimately, if it’s your tax return and it’s the amount you’re supposed to be getting, you should not be returning it,” Gogel said. “If it seems unusual that somebody is trying to get you to return your refund, stop and contact your tax professional.”

The IRS has rounded up some of the most common tax scams here. Knowing what to watch for can help you avoid being a victim.

Reduce your risk of identity theft

Here are additional steps you can take to reduce your risk of tax-related identity theft:

Make sure you have everything

If you haven’t received certain tax documents, reach out to those companies to find out when you will.

“Somebody could have stolen it out of your mailbox, and those forms have all of your information, including your address and Social Security Number,” Gogel said.

Monitor your return from start to finish

Once your return has been accepted, know when your refund should arrive, and monitor your accounts to make sure it does. The best way to track the status of your refund is to use the IRS’ Where’s My Refund? tool.

Be careful with email links

Never click on links or download attachments from suspicious emails.

Keep your security software updated

Make sure your computer and virus software is up to date, and use strong passwords.

Sign up for alerts

Dupaco’s eNotifier alerts can help you know when your refund arrives—and whether it is for the correct amount.

“eNotifiers give you the upper hand if the unexpected happens,” Gogel said.

Monitor your credit

With Dupaco’s free Bright Track credit monitoring service, you can watch for suspicious activity on your credit report.

Be prepared to fight fraud

Dupaco’s Family ID Restoration fraud-recovery coverage gives you additional resources to help you respond to identity theft and fraud if the unfortunate happens.

If you notice suspicious account activity or believe you are the victim of fraud or identity theft, contact Dupaco immediately at 800-373-7600.