Beware the dirty dozen tax scams of 2013
Phishing scams are always near the top of tax scam lists, and 2013 is no different. These attempts to get hold of taxpayer personal information come in at second worst.
Phishing attempts typically arrive via unsolicited email or a fake website that looks remarkably like the real one. When the targeted victim answers the email or enters in valuable personal and financial information online, the criminal has enough to steal the person's identity and ruin his or her financial life.
Tax phishers usually pose as an IRS representative. Don't fall for it. The IRS doesn't send unsolicited email to taxpayers. Neither does it seek personal information via other electronic avenues, such as text messages and social media channels.
If you get suspicious communications purporting to be from the IRS, ignore them. Then let the tax agency know. It works with federal law enforcement to shut down the bogus websites and track down the criminals who created them.