Information Security

Tax Scams: File Before Cyber Criminals Do

Millions of dollars are lost every year to fraudulent tax returns filed in the names of identity theft victims. Thieves need only a name, birthdate, and Social Security number to potentially steal hundreds of dollars from their victims.

Taxpayers can be tricked by a variety of scams including phishing, identity theft, and impersonated phone calls or vishing.

CyberSafe at USPS® recommends following these tips to safely file taxes:

n File early. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) started processing returns January 27, 2020. The earlier your taxes are filed, the less time scammers have to steal your identity and your tax refund.

n Know the signs. The IRS never initiates contact with taxpayers by email, text message, or social media channels to request personal or financial information.

n Keep your information secure. Scammers might pose as a trusted bank, government agency, or tax professional. Never make tax payments to anyone other than the “United States Treasury.”

n Monitor accounts. Regularly monitor your bank statement for unusual charges or suspicious activity. If you are expecting a tax refund, ensure that it is deposited into your designated account.

n Report suspicious events or emails. If you suspect fraudulent phishing emails are being sent to your inbox, report them to If you have experienced any monetary losses due to an IRS-related incident, report it to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at More information is available on the official IRS website (

Never use your official USPS® email address to file personal taxes. If you receive an IRS-related email in your USPS inbox, it is likely a phishing attempt and must be reported using the “Report to CyberSafe” button in the Outlook toolbar.

For general cybersecurity information, visit the CyberSafe at USPS websites on Blue ( and LiteBlue (