It is 2017, and a new year means a new tax season. This year tax season comes with fresh threats as scammers try to leverage fear of the IRS to steal identities and money.

January 30-February 3 is Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week.

US-CERT (United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team), along with the FTC and the IRS, has released expert advice on how to keep your personal and financial information safe on the Internet now and all year long.

Proactively protect yourself from digital risk and scams:

Please share the basics with your family, friends and neighbors:

  • The IRS will never contact you via email, text or social media. If you receive a message on any of these platforms, it’s a scam. The only approved IRS method of communication is through regular US mail.
  • Keep your computer secure and free of malware. Make sure sensitive data is encrypted, virus protection software is installed and a firewall is up and running.
  • Only download and install programs from websites you trust.
  • When surfing the Internet, be sure to check each website’s privacy policies before giving them any sensitive information. This is especially true of websites that allow you to purchase goods or file your taxes online.

If you think your identity may have been stolen, visit for resources including checklists, sample letters and information on how to report the theft. You may also need to contact credit reporting agencies or companies that have your financial information to make sure nothing has been compromised.

Official resources for more information: