Confusion about tax changes creating opportunities for online scams

The government shutdown and new tax laws are creating a lot of uncertainty for tax filers this year. In the confusion cyber scammers are seeing new opportunities.

Tax returns include names, social security numbers, birth dates, income and other personally identifying information, so protecting your information is crucial. A new survey from PCMag found 47 percent of online taxpayers in the U.S. say they are worried their personal information could be compromised when they file.

If you are filing online there are some simple cyber-security steps you can take to protect yourself.

  • Reputable software or websites - Well known companies will typically offer multiple ways users can contact them if there is a problem. Make sure the software or site you are using offers tech support by email, phone or chat.
  • Antivirus - If you don't already have one on your computer, install an antivirus. Not having one can put all of the information stored on your computer at risk.
  • VPN - A VPN, or virtual private network will protect your information when you connect using wifi.
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