In recent months, criminal organizations at both the local and international level have been using the identities of U.S. citizens to open accounts and file fraudulent claims for unemployment benefits, exploiting the unprecedented expansion of these benefits provided in response to economic disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. There are many ways that they are doing this, and the schemes range from targeting Medicare, social media, robocalls, and unemployment insurance. While not all schemes revolve around some form of identity theft, many do. According to Experian, one of the three major credit reporting agencies, here are some telltale signs of identity theft: You no longer get your household bills in the mail. Youve been turned down for a loan or credit card. Youre being billed for items you didnt purchase. Your financial accounts show charges you dont recognize. Your tax return was rejected. Small test charges appear on your credit card statement. Your creditors alert
As if paying taxes each year werent painful enough, there are also scammers out there that want to make the process even more challenging. Today, well talk about a couple of the most common scams that you should be aware of. Perhaps the best thing to do is to remind everyone what the IRS wont do. In the past several years, thousands of people have lost millions of dollars and their personal information to tax scams, identity theft, and illegitimate IRS communications. Criminals will oftenuse mail, telephone, fax or email. Always remember that the IRS doesntinitiatecontact with taxpayers by any means to obtain your personal or financial information.The IRS also does not threaten taxpayers with lawsuits, imprisonment or other enforcement. They also dont use channels like social media or text messages, and dont send unsolicited emails. They wont call to demand payment theyll always send a bill in the mail first. If you do get a bill, look up the number for the IRS and call them first.