In the last recent years, thousands of people have lost millions of dollars and personal info due to scams and false communication. Using several methods contact such as mail, fax and telephone, scammers are getting smarter with their plans to steal your tax return.

“Scammers are duping the taxpayer to believing that agencies are contacting them about their return,” says Amanda Huston, Senior Vice President of Pondera Solutions, which helps provide fraud detection services for California.

Just last year alone, the IRS saw more than 750,000 confirmed fraudulent tax returns make into their processing systems. Worst of all, even after a scam is detected it can take up to six months or longer for the IRS to return your refund money. Now with the numbers continuing to grow, what can you do to avoid being scammed out of your money?

Huston says it’s important to, “Always read your e-mails carefully. Generally, agencies and the IRS do not reach out to you.” It’s also worth noting that the IRS will no request your information through a text or social media.

If you are receiving any strange or suspicious e-mails, be sure to let the IRS know. The IRS can also not immediately enforce law enforcement to arrest you for not paying. If you also receive any communication that asks for your credit or credit card, that too will not be from the IRS. 

“It’s important to always be weary of proactive communications like that,” says Huston. “Be sure to also verify who’s on the other end of the phone and who they say they are.”

Taxes are due next Tuesday, April 18. If you have any questions regarding your taxes, be sure to let the IRS or a professional agency know.