How To Protect Against Phone Scams During Tax Season?

Mobile phones are among the most valued properties for everyone, whether it’s an employee or business owner. Earlier, phones were just used to make calls, but now they have all the details from personal, professional, to financial information. Cybercriminals know this, and they are coming up with new ideas to trick people. These crimes certainly increase during the tax season.  So it is crucial to stay alert and know how to protect yourself against these phone scams during the tax season.

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Here are some useful tips to be safe against phone scam during tax season: 

  1. Fake IRS calls are one of the most common phone scams during the tax season. Criminals fake to be from the IRS and try to get full information. Never talk or call-back a person claiming to be from the IRS. The US Department of Justice has specified that the IRS will never discuss issues like personal tax, refund over a phone call. If you get a call like this, inform the IRS at 800-829-1040.
  1. Cybercriminals can deceive you by sending malware links via messages and emails, and these things especially increases during the tax season. Once you click on such a link, the cybercriminal can know all the details stored on your phone. Don’t click on any link or reply until or unless you are sure about the sender’s identity.
  1. Never commit the mistake of passing on your personal details, especially the financial information, to anybody via phone or message. If you have to send such information to anybody new in your contact list, like a tax professional or accountant, ask them for an official phone number or email ID. If you are still not sure, meet them in person and then only share your details.
  1. While using public WiFi in the hotel, airport, or any other waiting area, it is advisable to use Virtual Private Network (VPN). VPN is a technology that adds security and privacy while you are using a public internet connection. If you are using VPN, hackers can not infect your device. Instead, on the other side if you are not using a VPN, then scammers can use various engineering techniques to infect your device by connecting to the same public WiFi network.
  1. Using strong passwords is important because if scammers can guess your passwords, they can access your complete personal information. Use long passwords with mixed characters having strings, numbers, and alphabets. Don’t use obvious passwords like name, date of birth, or sequential alphabets and numbers.
  1. Use a 6 digit pin instead of using a 4 digit pin. Mathematically speaking, a 4 digit pin has 10,000 possible combinations, and on the other hand, a 6 digit pin has 1 million possible combinations. It is difficult to guess a 6 digit pin when compared to a 4 digit pin. Additionally, here again never use the date of birth, anniversary date, or any other apparent numbers as your pin.
  1. Do complete research before downloading a new application, especially for those you have never heard of before. Make sure that the app is reputable and legitimate and has good reviews over the web. Additionally, read the app’s permission and privacy policy and what information it will take from your device. If it requires personal data from your device, then review the app once again before downloading.
  1. Don’t use third-party applications for banking and shopping purposes. When you connect these third-party applications with your main application, hackers can easily access all your information. The more the application you sync and the more services you sign up for, the more your personal information can be hacked.
  1. Don’t click on any unknown link on a website or send via email before being sure about the link because it is not less than a gamble. The link you clicked can provide you the information you are looking for and, on the other hand, can download malicious software that can hack your complete information from your device. Analyze the link and see where it comes from before taking any chance.
  1. Don’t fall into the trap of charity fund scammers asking for donations. They send unsolicited requests via phone, call, and email to donate to the charity. Always do your research before donating your hard-earned money to anybody. The IRS has a search tool where you can find out which charity is legitimate.
  1. Use anti-spam software that will identify spam calls, messages, emails, and links. This software will alert you before you take any action. In our everyday routine, we tend to forget to be careful before responding to such spammy activities. This anti-spam software will identify these activities and notify you before you respond.
  1. Mobile phones nowadays are not just for calls and messages. Instead, we have all the personal information stored in it. This makes mobile security a great deal. Use mobile security software for your mobile device, especially during the tax season. This mobile security software will provide 24*7 protection and provide maximum performance for the mobile.In the tax season, you should also check on the emails scams
  1. You might receive calls, messages, and emails claiming to have won a huge amount of prizes. This is an old way to dupe people, yet the number of people falling into the trap is continuously increasing. This is just a way to get your personal information from you. Make sure that you don’t get tempted with such communication that promises unrealistic offers.
  1. It is a general pattern to ignore notifications like “a software update is available” because of lack of time or other priorities. The truth is that these software updates just take a few minutes and are also very important for our device. Don’t ignore these updates, as it makes it easy for the hacker to target your device. These software updates make sure that you are using the most secure version of the software.
  1. Reset your phone, delete the complete information before handing it over to somebody else. If you don’t do so, you may hand over all the personal details to someone with the wrong intentions. You can search on google or take an expert’s help if you are unsure that data is completely deleted.

Have more ways in mind to protect against phone scams during the tax season? Do mention in the comment section below.  

About Julie Watson

Julie is a dynamic professional with over 16 years of rich experience as a VDI and Application Hosting expert. At Ace Cloud Hosting, she humanizes disruptive and emerging remote working trends to help leaders discover new and better possibilities for digital transformation and innovation by using cloud solutions with an enterprise-class security approach. Beyond work, Julie is a passionate surfer.
On the weekend, you will find her hanging out with her family or surfing around the North Shore of Oahu.

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