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In a joint effort on Cyber Monday, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), state tax agencies, and the nation’s tax industry initiated the 8th National Tax Security Awareness Week. With a focus on holiday scams and safeguarding personal information, the Security Summit aims to equip taxpayers and professionals against identity theft and fraud as tax season approaches.

As the festive season intertwines with the impending tax season, the IRS Commissioner, Danny Werfel, urges vigilance in safeguarding sensitive financial and personal information. The Security Summit, comprising the IRS and state tax agencies, underscores the critical role of taxpayers and professionals as the first line of defense against identity thieves seeking to exploit the holiday season.

Critical Tips for Safe Online Practices:

  1. Secure Shopping: Opt for websites with “https” in the web address and look for the padlock icon for secure transactions.
  2. Avoid Unsecured Wi-Fi: Refrain from shopping on public Wi-Fi networks in malls or restaurants.
  3. Keep Software Updated: Regularly update security software on computers, tablets, and mobile phones.
  4. Multi-Factor Authentication: Utilize multi-factor authentication to add an extra layer of security to online accounts.

Focus on Tax Professionals:

The Security Summit’s campaign emphasizes the importance of tax professionals implementing multi-factor authentication, given the evolving tactics of scammers attempting to breach cloud-based services. Separate personal and business devices, change passwords frequently and employ password management applications to enhance security.

Beware of Identity Theft Schemes:

The IRS warns of an uptick in tax scams, particularly those exploiting the allure of a third round of Economic Impact Payments. Common tactics involve phishing emails and text messages with embedded links, leading to fraudulent websites. The stolen data not only facilitates identity theft but can also be sold on the dark web, complicating detection efforts by tax authorities.

Gift Card Scams and Vigilance:

As the holiday season unfolds, the IRS cautions against gift card scams related to taxes. The agency advises against purchasing from online sellers that solely accept payment via gift cards, money transfers, or cryptocurrency, as these methods are challenging to trace and reverse.

Closing Thoughts:

With the prevalence of text-based scams, the IRS encourages users to bolster mobile phone security, essential for shopping and tax-related activities. Stay informed about the latest scams by following official IRS social media platforms, and report suspicious activities to

In the face of evolving cyber threats, the collaborative efforts of the IRS and the Security Summit serve as a crucial defense against the Grinch-like tactics of identity thieves during this holiday season and approaching tax season.

Source (IRS News).