What you need to know to help fend off fraud this tax season


February 02, 2023

Promo Protect all your devices, without slowing them down.
Free 30-day trial
What you need to know to help fend off fraud this tax season

Tax season is a prime time for scam artists and cybercriminals to wage targeted attacks against taxpayers to steal personal data and conduct identity theft crimes.

According to the FTC, tax-related identity theft is most common during tax filing season, which this year began on Jan. 23 in the US. With tax-related identity theft reports up 45% from pre-pandemic levels, Americans need to remain vigilant to avoid becoming another identity theft statistic while they prepare their 2023 tax returns.

Tax scams usually proliferate via unsolicited emails, phone calls, and even text messages designed to direct recipients to fake websites that steal personally identifiable information (PII).

To protect yourself from tax scams this year, we recommend following these strict cybersecurity practices:

  • Make sure you keep your tax-related forms in a safe place to avoid data compromise. Never share unencrypted copies of your tax forms via email or other direct messaging platforms. The forms contain a variety of personal info that can be used for fraud and other identity crimes.
  • Keep your Social Security Number private. Most of the time, tax return identity theft involves a compromised SSN. Never hand it out unless absolutely necessary.
  • Never give out PII, PINs, passwords or financial details via emails that claim to come from the IRS.
  • Monitor for data breach exposure. While not all data breaches result in tax identity theft, you should try to find out what type of data was compromised, and how it can affect your privacy and financial security.
  • Always check for suspicious lingo and grammar mistakes, and never access attachments you receive via unsolicited correspondence.
  • Hang up on any threatening phone calls on people who claim to represent the IRS, and never provide sensitive information or pay in gift cards or crypto for an expedited tax return.
  • Protect your devices and information by using strong passwords and installing a security solution to ward off phishing attempts and malware attacks.

Additional tips include:

  • Apply for an IP PIN with the IRS to prevent a criminal from filing tax returns using your Social Security number or Taxpayer Identification Number
  • Research tax preparers before engaging their services
  • Make sure your physical mailbox is secure so no snoops can steal your correspondence

How can Bitdefender Identity Theft Protection help you during tax season and beyond?

Bitdefender Identity Theft Protection can help you fight identity crimes with combined fraud detection, real-time alerts and identity recovery services.  Our identity protection plans (US only) offer continuous monitoring for your SSN, financial accounts and medical data against identity theft and fraud, alerting you to any suspicious activity.

If you do fall victim to cybercrooks, we provide access to your dedicated resolution specialist and reimbursement of stolen funds courtesy of identity theft insurance of up to $2 million, depending on the plan you choose.

Learn more about how our one-stop credit monitoring and identity theft protection service can help you, here.




Alina is a history buff passionate about cybersecurity and anything sci-fi, advocating Bitdefender technologies and solutions. She spends most of her time between her two feline friends and traveling.

View all posts

You might also like