WASHINGTON (11/24/15)--The Internal Revenue Service (IRS), along with state tax administrators and the private-sector tax industry, have kicked off a campaign to encourage consumers to protect their personal and financial data.
Through the April 15 tax deadline, “Taxes. Security. Together.” aims to raise awareness that even routine actions online and on a mobile device can affect the safety of sensitive data.
The joint campaign includes several components, including YouTube videos, weekly consumer-friendly tax tips and local events across the country. Several IRS publications have been added or updated to help taxpayers and tax professionals.
The information will also be shared across IRS.gov, state websites and platforms used by the tax software community and others in the tax community.
Campaign organizers are encouraging people to:
Theft of personal information, and then using that information to claim false refunds from the IRS has been a common scam for several years now.
Widget FCU of Erie, Pa., helped uncover one such scheme that had been used to bilk the IRS out of tens of millions of dollars in fake tax returns.
News Now covered Widget’s story in two parts last year when Widget CEO GAIL Cook spoke at the Bank Secracy Act Conference on helping the FBI crack the scheme. Part one and part two are both available.