Be aware of tax time scams

The IRS will begin accepting individual tax returns on January 23.
Published: Jan. 18, 2023 at 3:45 PM EST
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - The IRS will begin accepting individual tax returns on January 23.

The government agency says they’re expecting more than 168 million individual tax returns this year.

It is also the time of year to take a look at some of the security concerns surrounding the tax filing season.

Alex Risen, the head of marketing at PhishingBox, says you can never be too careful sharing or filling out information online, especially when it comes to your financial data or personal details.

“Don’t just have a one-layer approach where I check everything,” Risen said. “Make sure that you have programs and software in place to help you out so that, if you do slip up, hopefully, one of those systems will catch something, even if you click it or download it, it’s going to scan it and say this is potentially dangerous.”

As Americans prepare to file their 2022 taxes, it’s worth an extra check to make sure the websites you’re on are legitimate. The internet is home to many fake sites trying to deceive the public.

Risen says many people have software on their computers to catch spam and spoof links, but a lot of individuals aren’t using it properly.

“Then they don’t update it. They don’t monitor it. They don’t actually use some of the reports that we’ve found potential programs that are running. We’ve quarantined them, but we need to remove those,” Risen said.

The IRS says most refunds are issued within 21 days and any taxpayers who make $73,000 or less can file for free through participating tax software providers.

Risen says it’s worth taking your time and giving things a second glance.

“When you submit any official documentation, especially when it comes to your financial information. If you’re going to do any direct deposits. If you’re going to put in your social security number. Usually, those programs will ask for confirmation of making sure that this is accurate information to the best of your knowledge, and all of those things, take it seriously,” said Risen.