Avoid Scammers and Prevent Data Breaches

April 8, 2016

With the nearby deadline of April 15th to file taxes, there is also the looming tax scams that affect millions of Americans.  IRS Commissioner, John Koskinen warns, “Don’t be fooled. The IRS won’t be calling you out of the blue asking you to verify your personal tax information or aggressively threatening you to make an immediate payment.” (IRS.gov, Consumer Alert: Scammers Change Tactics, Once Again).

The IRS warns individuals they will never:

  • Call to demand immediate payment
  • Call or email you to verify your identity
  • Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card
  • Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone or email, threaten to immediately bring in local police to have you arrested for not paying

It’s important that you recognize when a scammer may be targeting you or your business.  Often times, scammers use scare tactics in hopes to get the victim into paying their alleged tax bill.  If a scammer targets you, it’s important to never give out information and to hang up immediately; you should contact TIGTA to report the call using the IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting website.

With the IRS’ warnings to avoid falling for scammers’ tactics, it’s important to be vigilant and pro-active with preventing your personal information from getting into the hands of scammers.  Making sure to shred, and properly dispose of paperwork containing your information has become common knowledge, but what about digital data?  

Having your information, as well as your customers’ information secured is one of the biggest steps you can take in preventing data breaches.  “Personal data, including payment information, should always be secured and having that data encrypted will prevent scammers from gaining information that can then be used to attempt a tax scam or identity theft.” Said Patrick Heraghty of CardConnect.  Making sure all data is protected against breaches not only allows you to prevent financial loss, it also ensures you keep your customer’s trust.

Source:  U.S. IRS. IRS.gov / Consumer Alert: Scammers Change Tactics, Once Again. N.p., 14 Mar. 2016. Web.

Through the Michigan Chamber’s partnership with CardConnect, you have the opportunity to accept credit, debit and other electronically based transactions at just 0.2% above cost. Email CardConnect or call 877.948.9733 to learn more.