… IRS has alerted taxpayers to keep in mind that, with the Oct. 15 tax-filing extension deadline coming soon, criminals are likely to "continue using devious tactics" to acquire personal information and steal money. () "The agency warns that scammers continue to pose as the IRS, making threatening phone calls and using email phishing schemes to lure taxpayers," IRS said. The agency also warned about scammers posing as charitable organizations, a tactic which tends to peak during hurricane season or following a natural disaster. In addition, the alert explained how telephone scams, phishing emails and false charity donation requests work and provided information regarding how taxpayers should respond.
… The takeaway from a Sept. 26 congressional hearing on IRS's taxpayer online authentication efforts was a mixed bag—while the agency has made notable progress in dealing with verifying authentication there remains a long road ahead in successfully dealing with the issue. "Recent statistics show a continuing and substantial decline in several indicators of tax-related identity theft," Edward Killen, IRS chief privacy officer, and Silvana Gina Garza, IRS chief information officer, told the House Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee. "From 2015 to 2017, the number of taxpayers reporting to the IRS that they were victims of identity theft dropped by 65 percent, and the number of tax returns with confirmed identity theft fell by 57 percent with more than $20 billion in taxpayer refunds being protected," they testified.
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