Every April, tax season brings panic and confusion to millions across the United States. If that wasn’t bad enough, it’s also accompanied by a wave of potentially costly tax-related scams and insidious Internal Revenue Service (IRS) impersonations.
The best way to defend against these ploys is to arm yourself with information. Luckily, Snopes has been fighting and debunking IRS and tax scams for two decades. Here’s some of what we’ve learned.
Why IRS and Tax Scams Are So Widespread
Over the years, IRS scams have taken various forms: phishing; malware; ransomware; spear phishing; and so on. Their levels of technological sophistication vary, as do the degree of human interaction required to make the con work. In general, though, as we have observed many times, three primary reasons explain why IRS and tax scams are so popular and, at times, so successful:
- Authority. Few government agencies elicit panic and fear…