ADOR: Be on lookout for identity thieves during tax season

PHOENIX – The Arizona Department of Revenue (ADOR) treats detecting and stopping fraud with paramount importance and reminds taxpayers that tax-filing season is a time to be aware of identity thieves looking for ways to commit tax fraud.

The department points to phishing schemes, card-skimming devices, unsecure Wi-Fi networks, data breaches, computer viruses, unsafe smartphone apps and hacking email accounts as ways identities are stolen.

Tips to help prevent being the victim of identity theft:

  • Do not carry identification with your Social Security Number (SSN) on it.
  • If someone wants your SSN, always ask why because it is not always required.
  • Keep personal and confidential information in a secure place.
  • Take extra precautions when discarding personal or confidential information.
  • Protect personal computers, smartphones and other devices by using anti-virus software.
  • Use strong passwords and never share your passwords.
  • Never give personal information through unencrypted email, social media or text messaging. 

One scam that targets companies and continues to be reported is the W-2 scam, where a phishing email is sent to someone in a company’s human resources or payroll office. It appears to be from an executive of that business and asks for payroll information, containing confidential information, be emailed immediately. ADOR advises staff to never respond to the email and instead connect with the person whose name is on the email by phone or in person to confirm its authenticity. ADOR recommends companies establish specific internal policies to address these requests and take steps to protect employee information.

Arizonans can contact ADOR’s Identity Theft Call Center at (602) 716-6300 or toll-free at (844) 817-9691. For more information, go to https://azdor.gov/individual-income-tax-information/identity-theft.

ADOR’s fraud-prevention system has stopped more than $120 million in fraudulent income tax refunds since 2015.

Source: ADOR