Five Ways to Spot a Phone Scam

Tax ScamsThe IRS continues to warn the public to be alert for telephone scams and offers five tell-tale warning signs to tip you off if you get such a call. These callers claim to be with the IRS. The scammers often demand money to pay taxes. Some may try to con you by saying that you’re due a refund. The refund is a fake lure so you’ll give them your banking or other private financial information. [Read more…]

Avoiding Phony IRS Websites

Phony IRS Email

 Have you ever received an email from a family member, friend, or a company asking for personal or financial information? You may have been targeted by a growing type of cyber-attack known as phishing. Phishing emails or websites disguise themselves as legitimate ones and try to steal a victim’s money or identity. Even the Internal Revenue Service is subject to impersonators in these kinds of scams.

The IRS is issuing a warning about a new tax scam that uses a website that mimics the IRS e-Services online registration page. The actual IRS e-Services page offers web-based products for tax preparers, not the general public. The phony web page looks almost identical to the real one.

The address of the official IRS website is Don’t be misled by sites claiming to be the IRS but ending in .com, .net, .org or other designations instead of .gov.

Be aware that the IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email to request personal or financial information. This includes any type of electronic communication, such as text messages and social media channels.

 If you find a suspicious website that claims to be the IRS, send the site’s URL by email to Use the subject line, ‘Suspicious website’. If you get an unsolicited email that appears to be from the IRS, report it by sending it to

Tax Information Needed within 30 days!!!

We’ve had some clients get an email that looks like the one below.  This is a spam email — if you get it, just delete it and do not click on the link.  Here is a page from Intuit (the REAL Intuit) about this email.  If Intuit wants information from you, then they’ll ask you to log in to your account or go through QuickBooks to provide the information. [Read more…]

2011 Dirty Dozen Tax Scams

The IRS has announced its annual list of top tax scams for 2011, called The Dirty Dozen.  Hiding income in offshore accounts, identify theft, return preparer fraud, and filing false or misleading tax forms tops the list.  “The Dirty Dozen represents the worst of the worst tax scams,” IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman said.  “Don’t fall prey to these tax scams.  They may look tempting, but these fraudulent deals end up hurting people who participate in them.”


The IRS works closely with the Justice Department to pursue and prosecute the perpetrators with heavy fines and jail time.  Unfortunately, the taxpayers who get involved are left to repay all taxes due plus penalties and interest.

Beware of the Top 3 Computer Scams

Scam #1:  Your Computer is Infected!   You’ve heard of viruses and spyware, meet their cousin, Scareware.  This threat tries to convince you that your computer is infected and convince you that you need to pay them for their “antivirus protection”.  These rogue antivirus products are one of the biggest criminal enterprises around right now!  If you see a fake alert, stop what you are doing, close your internet browser, and perform a full scan with your legitimate antivirus program.  Above all, do not give out your credit card information in an attempt to clean your computer!   The only thing that will get cleaned out is your wallet.


Scam #2:  Check out this Cool Link!  These days, planes are not the most likely thing to be hijacked.  Today email and Facebook accounts are the hijackers focus.  It looks like you’ve received an email from your friend that includes a link to click to view a “cool video” or some other intriguing item.  You might get an email from UPS or FedEx saying that they had trouble delivering a package and you can click the link to view the shipping receipt.  What’s really happening behind the scenes?  The link takes you to a website that will download some sort of virus or other malicious software (malware) onto your computer.


Scam #3:  “John Doe” wants to be your Friend!  In this case, scammers send you an email that looks like it is from a social networking site you are a member of.  It says that someone wants to be your friend, just click the link to “accept”.  Even though the email looks like the real thing, complete with logos, it could be from an imposter and the link could take you somewhere bad.  Your best bet is to delete the email, go to your internet browser and log into your social networking site.  If the friend request is legitimate, you will see it there and can accept it.

 Remember:  Scammers are constantly coming up with new and sneakier ways to get to you. Your best defense is 1) a good antivirus & anti-spamware software program, 2) update it often; new threats are added daily, and 3) set a schedule to run scans while you are sleeping on a daily or weekly basis.