On Monday, state Attorney General Ashley Moody unveiled a new Scams at a Glance resource to help Floridians avoid tax identity theft in recognition of Identity Theft Awareness Week.
Moody participated in the Federal Trade Commission’s annual launch of Identity Theft Awareness Week, which kicked off on Monday to help provide consumers with resources and tips to protect their finances and personal information. With Floridians beginning to file 2020 taxes, the new Scams at a Glance: Tax Identity Theft brochure is designed to help taxpayers avoid identity thieves attempting to gain access to personal information through tax-filing schemes.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has created new opportunities for scammers and hackers to prey on Floridians, and I expect their determination to steal your identity this tax season will only become more emboldened and brazen. Focusing on potential tax scams as tax season kicks off will provide another tool for consumers as Identity Theft Awareness Week launches. My office will continue its dedication to protecting consumers and providing tips on how to stay one step ahead of these high-tech swindlers,” Moody said on Monday
The newest addition to Scams at a Glance provides tips to help prevent tax identity theft, including:
- Be wary of a tax preparer that guarantees a larger refund than other preparers;
- Remember that the Internal Revenue Service does not initiate contact with taxpayers via email, text message or social media. Only in rare circumstances will the IRS call; however, they will always send a letter first;
- File tax returns as soon as possible to prevent a scammer from fraudulently doing so first; and
- When filing a tax return electronically, use a secure internet connection.