Escape Summertime Blues by Protecting Identity from Tax Scammers
The Arizona Department of Revenue (ADOR) reminds taxpayers that tax scam artists do not take a summer break when it comes to identity theft. Thieves use tactics including card-skimming devices, access through unsecured Wi-Fi, stealing mail, hacking email accounts, phishing schemes or using false pretenses.
ADOR has prepared a checklist to assist taxpayers:
- Be careful when using public Wi-Fi and entering confidential information.
- Collect mail every day. Place a hold on your mail if you go on vacation.
- Do not carry identification with your social security number (SSN) on it.
- If someone asks for your SSN, always ask why because it is not always required.
- Keep personal and confidential information in a secure place.
- Secure your devices using anti-virus software. You should also always keep security applications and device operating systems updated and always enable a computer’s firewall.
- Use strong passwords and never share your passwords.
- Monitor your bill cycles and examine unfamiliar debit and credit card charges.
- Never give personal information through email, social media, or text messaging.
- Unless you initiated the call, never give personal information over the phone.
- Take extra precautions when discarding personal or confidential information, including when disposing of, donating, or selling computers, smartphones, and other devices.
Taxpayers should be aware that the Department of Revenue will never:
- Call demanding immediate payment or about taxes owed without first having mailed out an official notice.
- Demand you pay taxes without providing you the opportunity to question or appeal the stated amount owed.
- Require you to use a specific payment method to pay your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.
- Threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.
If a person gets a phone call from ADOR requesting additional information, you can contact the department’s Customer Care Center at (602) 255-3381, toll-free: 800-352-4090, to confirm the call was in fact from an ADOR official.
Arizonans can also contact the Department of Revenue’s Identity Theft Call Center at (602) 716-6300, toll-free: 800-352-4090, or https://azdor.gov/individual-
Thursday, July 16, 2020