Big tax season scam arrives as a text

Most of you are already receiving tax documents either in the mail or online. It means, the IRS is ready for tax season. You are getting ready for tax season. And scammers are ready as well. 

Here is this season's big one: The IRS texting scam. 

It’s tax refund bait. The sender wants you to think it’s from the IRS. If you click that link, only bad things will come: malware, an opportunity to steal your identity, and take your tax refund. 

The phone is an easy, cheap way to get to you. If they call you, and you answer, they already have you on the line. 

You have to be vigilant. It’s too profitable for the bad guys to not keep trying. Millions are targeted every day. It’s a $10 billion loss annually. 

I talked to Chris Drake of Iconectiv, an information services company that works in the telecom space. Here’s great advice. 

"You should freeze your credit, your credit scores at the three agencies - Experian, Equifax,  TransUnion. Free. Very easy to do. Very easy to unfreeze if you need to open account, get a new loan. It used to cost money. It’s totally free nationwide. There should be nobody in your audience that hasn’t frozen their credit."

At this point you should even be freezing your children’s credit information. Their information sits unused potentially for years. Often parents don't realize their child's identity was stolen until they try to get a job in high school.  

Next week the FTC plans a webinar for Identity Theft Awareness Week. You can sign up for the webinar on FTC's website.