VIDEO: Attorney General Moody Warns of Tax Identity Theft Scams as Identity Theft Awareness Week Kicks Off
TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Attorney General Ashley Moody today unveiled a new Scams at a Glance resource to help Floridians avoid tax identity theft in recognition of Identity Theft Awareness Week. Attorney General Moody participates in the Federal Trade Commission’s annual launch of Identity Theft Awareness Week, which kicks off today, Feb. 1, to help provide consumers with resources and tips to protect their finances and personal information. With Floridians beginning to file 2020 taxes, the new Scams at a Glance: Tax Identity Theft brochure is designed to help taxpayers avoid identity thieves attempting to gain access to personal information through tax-filing schemes.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “The COVID-19 pandemic has created new opportunities for scammers and hackers to prey on Floridians, and I expect their determination to steal your identity this tax season will only become more emboldened and brazen. Focusing on potential tax scams as tax season kicks off will provide another tool for consumers as Identity Theft Awareness Week launches. My office will continue its dedication to protecting consumers and providing tips on how to stay one step ahead of these high-tech swindlers.”
The newest addition to Scams at a Glance provides tips to help prevent tax identity theft, including:
Be wary of a tax preparer that guarantees a larger refund than other preparers;
Remember that the Internal Revenue Service does not initiate contact with taxpayers via email, text message or social media. Only in rare circumstances will the IRS call; however, they will always send a letter first;
File tax returns as soon as possible to prevent a scammer from fraudulently doing so first; and
- When filing a tax return electronically, use a secure internet connection.
To view Scams at a Glance: Tax Identity Theft in English, click here.
To view Scams at a Glance: Tax Identity Theft in Spanish, click here.
Last December, Attorney General Moody recognized National Identity Theft Prevention and Awareness Month by releasing Scams at a Glance: Identity Theft. According to the Federal Trade Commission, more than 650,000 consumers fell victim to identity theft in 2019, an increase of more than 200,000 from 2018. Helping Floridians safeguard their personal and financial information is a top priority for Attorney General Moody.
Scams at a Glance is Attorney General Moody’s consumer outreach program, complete with a webpage on the Florida Attorney General’s website with information about common and emerging scams. The webpage also provides downloadable brochures designed to teach consumers how to avoid falling victim to fraud and scams.
To access the Scams at a Glance webpage for more content related to common scams, click here.
Attorney General Moody is working hard to educate Floridians about new and upcoming scams, not only through the Scams at a Glance program, but also through the Consumer Alert program. Scams at a Glance is another fraud prevention tool to help support Consumer Alerts and bolster consumer knowledge about common scam tactics.
To view recent Consumer Alerts, visit MyFloridaLegal.com/ConsumerAlert.
Anyone who encounters tax identity theft should contact the Attorney General’s Office by visiting MyFloridaLegal.com or calling 1(866) 9NO-SCAM.