Protecting Yourself from Tax Scams

It is that time of year again and tax scams are on the rise.  Here is just one:

The IRS phone scam: Scammers make unsolicited calls claiming to be IRS officials. They demand that the victim pay a bogus tax bill or tell you you have a large refund coming.  Don't be fooled.  Here are a few tips from the IRS website:

The IRS will never:

  • Call to demand immediate payment, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill.
  • Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
  • 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.
  • Threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.

Visit the IRS Tax Tip "Donít Fall for Scam Calls and Emails Posing as IRS"


For more tips on avoiding tax scams you can:

Visit the IRS website here for the IRS list of Dirty Dozen Tax scams and more information.

Consumer Reports online has videos and articles on avoiding tax scams.  Go to the library website homepage by clicking here or at, clicking on the Electronic Resources Link in the lower right, click on Consumer Reports, and enter tax scams in the search box.  If you are accessing the website from home, you will be asked to enter your library card number.

At the BBB website you can find their 2016 article "6 tips for Avoiding a Tax Scam this Tax Season".


More resources for protecting yourself from scams can be found on our Avoiding Fraud page here.


We often think of the Internet when we think of scams, but scams can come in our mailbox offering too good to be true deals, walk up to our door offering to clean our gutters, or be a phone call asking you to donate to a "good cause".  And scams are nothing new.  Here are some from the 1800's.

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