Tax season is upon us - and that means the scammers are trying to get their hands on your tax refund and your private information.

Whenever there's money to be had, you can be sure criminals will be trying to get a piece of it. It's gotten so bad, the New York State Department of Taxation has had to issue a warning to residents so they don't get scammed.

The tax department says the typical scams involve 'phishing' where the scammer will call or email, trying to get personal information about you and your return. It's important to note that the tax department will never ask you for personal information over an email or a phone call - so if that happens, it's a scam.

According to the IRS, "if you receive an unsolicited communication from the IRS -- do not act on it.  Suspected phishing emails should be forwarded directly to the IRS at phishing@irs.gov  and then deleted.  Further information and instructions may be found by visiting the Reporting Phishing and Online Scams page on the IRS website at https://www.irs.gov/privacy-disclosure/report-phishing."

Scams occur all year round, remain alert and as a reminder:

  • DO NOT reply to an email with any personal information or passwords; call the organization directly to verify that the email is legitimate.
  • DO NOT click a link in an unsolicited email; type the organization's web address into your web browser to verify legitimacy.