Information Security

Tax Talk: Avoid Scams and File Securely

Tax season is well underway. The filing deadline of April 15, 2019, is fast approaching and cyber criminals are doing everything they can to take full advantage of the opportunity.

These five tips can help ensure that you file securely and don’t fall prey to tax scams:

n File early. Criminals can file fraudulent tax returns using your stolen personal information. One of the best defenses is to file before they have the chance.

n Think before you click. Beware of emails, text messages, and social media posts that claim to be from the IRS and contain links or attachments. Cybercriminals may use these to install malware onto your computer to steal your information.

n Set strong passphrases. If you file your taxes online, use a strong passphrase to protect your information (see

n Use secure networks. Criminals can use public
Wi-Fi or weak networks to intercept your information. When filing taxes, use a secure, password-protected network.

n Beware of phony calls. The IRS will never ask for credit or debit card information, demand immediate payment, or threaten legal action in a cold call.

If you believe you have been a fraud victim, report it to the IRS at

Report any suspicious activity on USPS® systems, networks, or equipment to the CyberSecurity Operations Center at or call 866-877-7247.

For more information on how to report suspected threats, visit the CyberSafe at USPS® websites on Blue ( and LiteBlue (, or the external website at