Tips to defend yourself from tax season scammers - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Tips to defend yourself from tax season scammers

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Many people can't wait to file their taxes at the beginning of the year in hopes of getting a nice refund from the IRS.

However, it's also important to know how to protect yourself from potential scammers. 

"If you ever get a call saying 'I'm from the IRS I'm here to help' or 'I'm from the IRS, you owe us money', just hang up the phone. Even if you see it come across the caller ID, hang up the phone," said Better Business Bureau CEO, Kathy Graham.

The Internet has become a convenient way for people to file their taxes, but it has created a whole new playing field for hackers and those looking to rip individuals off. Graham said it's important to always know how legitimate the website or program a person is using is when filing your taxes.

"You need to make sure the website is secure and there's two ways of doing this. First, up in the bar where you type the 'www', it should begin with H-T-T-P-S. If there's no S, it is not secure."

It's also important to know which services are certified, and which ones are phony. Graham said to always be careful when typing in personal information, and if a taxpayer chooses to file online, make sure it's done at home. 

"Don't do it sitting in a coffee shop or a library, because people can sit around and hack into your system and get your information when you're on a free wifi like that," Graham said.

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