Bank of Southern California is focused on ensuring the safety and security of client information. In this edition, we discuss a form of fraud that has grown increasingly more prevalent due to new legislation, IRS budget cuts, and a high-volume of data compromises: tax scams.
Last year, the IRS stopped nearly 800,000 confirmed identify theft returns, totaling more than $4 billion. With recent budget cuts and layoffs, the IRS is ill-prepared to fend off identity-related tax fraud. In addition, multiple data breaches have compromised Social Security numbers, making people more vulnerable to fraud.
Knowledge, awareness, and alertness is your first line of defense against fraud. Some of the more prevalent scams are:
- IRS Refunds E-mail Scam – Cybercriminals steal personally identifiable information
- Erroneous Refunds – Criminals steal client data from tax professionals and use real bank accounts for the deposit
- IRS Telephone Scams – Thieves target taxpayers, demanding immediate payment via wire transfer
- Tax Professional Scam – Criminals target tax professionals to steal data or obtain filing identification numbers
A Taxpayer Loses Thousands in IRS Scam
A man impersonating an IRS agent played off the current tax season and stole thousands from a local taxpayer. The cause of the theft: a lack of awareness of current scams.
In this case, a criminal impersonating an IRS agent called an unsuspected taxpayer to verify tax return information. The criminal was aggressive and demanded personal information including bank and credit card numbers. The taxpayer provided all requested information and the thieves made off with thousands of dollars.
Crimes involving tax scams typically increase during tax season. It is important to closely monitor your accounts and report suspicious activity.
Commitment You Can Bank On
Bank of Southern California is committed to providing resources to help keep our clients’ assets safe and secure. To learn more about how to grow and protect your business, call 858.847.4780 or visit us in person at one of our many offices conveniently located throughout Southern California.