reviews and complaints 2024


Beware of Suspicious IRS Emails and Websites

As another tax season approaches, scammers are ramping up efforts to steal personal and financial information from unsuspecting taxpayers. One scam domain raising red flags is, claiming to offer assistance with refund status updates and direct deposits in 2024. But are these services for real, or too good to be true?

The IRS and cybersecurity experts strongly advise taxpayers to be very wary of unsolicited email, texts, calls or websites asking for personal details related to refunds or tax issues. Criminals exploit this time of year to trick people, so vigilance is key to avoid falling victim. Let’s take a closer look at the latest IRS imposter schemes and how to stay protected. – Legit or a Phishing Lure?

This domain first popped up in late 2023 promoting easy online refund tracking tools in the new year. But the official IRS website and knowledgeable observers have flagged it as a probe fake:

  • The URL is not an official .gov domain and misleads users that it represents the Internal Revenue Service.

  • No contact info like addresses or telephone numbers are listed, just web forms – a major red flag.

  • Typos, poor grammar and other errors abound on the site, unlike the meticulous IRS online portals.

  • Browser security alerts go off due to unverified SSL certificates, another sign something is amiss.

So rather than providing any valuable taxpayer assistance, this fraudulent portal likely aims to steal personal data through uploaded scans of sensitive forms or keylogging login credentials. Stay far away!

2024’s Top Tax Refund Scams to Watch Out For

As criminals refine their tricks, here are some of the most worrisome imposter scams making the rounds and expected to ramp up in the new year:

Phishing Emails – Messages with sender addresses mimicking attempting to install malware or steal info via fake login pages.

Phone Scams – Callers claim owing money or needing additional information to expedite refunds, pressuring instant action or payment.

Text Message Phishing – Smishing attacks via SMS with links to steal identities or deploy mobile malware to compromise devices.

IRS Impersonation – Fraudsters contact taxpayers asserting audit issues or payment demands requiring sensitive data or wire transfers.

Refund Anticipation Loans – Unlicensed lenders charge exorbitant fees upfront for refunds, which may never materialize.

The best defense is to always verify direct with the government agency in question before acting on unsolicited contacts seeking tax details. Legitimate agencies will never demand immediate sensitive action outside official channels.

How to Contact the Real IRS and File a Complaint

If taxpayers do have authentic concerns or questions for the IRS, only use the official agency website for correct contact info. Main points of trusted access include:

  • IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center locator for in-person help at appointments

  • Secure Online Account login for refund status updates and document access

  • IRS toll-free phone lines at 800-829-1040 or TTY 800-829-4059 for general assistance

  • Using the Report Phishing form to alert the IRS to fake scam emails

  • Reporting scams directly to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration

For pursuing complaints against the IRS itself over incorrect actions, taxpayers should request a Problem Solving Advocate via Form 911 to handle issues fairly.

The key takeaway – never allow external unofficial sources to intermediate official tax matters on your behalf, as this cedes control to scammers lurking to pounce. Stay updated straight from the federal source.

Tips for Refund Filing Success in 2024

To help breeze through the filing season safely and securely this year, consider following guidance:

  • E-file returns and opt for direct deposit when possible to avoid risks of paper refund delays.

  • Use strong, unique passwords and multi-factor authentication where offered to harden online tax accounts.

  • Beware of “free” government fee refund promises – legitimate preparers never charge for official IRS services.

  • Verify legitimate CAF# preparer numbers when using tax professionals online or review credentials in-person.

  • Go paperless with IRS correspondence by creating a online account to ditch mailbox phishing lures.

  • Watch for indicators like poor English on suspicious sites or emails pretending to represent government agencies.

  • Consider a solid antivirus and firewall software stack to block malware used in phishing attacks on devices.

Following common-sense cybersecurity practices and official IRS guidance is the surest way to stay protected and get refunds securely through 2024’s filing season as scammers lurk. Diligence foils their plans!

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