How to Be Cyber-Safe During Tax Season 2022

By DoIT Communications

Security Training and Awareness Working Group

Date Released: 3/1/2022


Tips to stay safe.

            Tax season is upon us once again; a time of year when cyber attackers aggressively attempt to steal your private information. Scammers make use of scare tactics to intimidate individuals into giving out personal information which can lead to financial loss and identity theft. Here are some tips to keep yourself safe from these attacks:  


  • The IRS will never contact you by email, text, or phone. Physical mail to your home will be the only way you will ever be contacted.  

    • Scams delivered by robocallers have become one of the most prominent ways to target individuals. Be aware!

    • If you have received a stimulus payment, you may receive a letter from the IRS this year letting you know that the stimulus payment is non-taxable. This is likely an official letter informing you of your rights.


  • Tax scams happen continually throughout the year, not just in April. Make sure to stay alert!


  • If you are going to a new agency to have your taxes prepared, verify their qualifications. A Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) is required to do business.

    • Be aware, scammers will refuse to sign and submit paperwork on behalf of their clients.

    • Legitimate agencies will have their information as the preparer on your tax return and can submit on your behalf. Always ask for a copy for your own personal records.

    • Never allow your return to be sent to any bank account except your own. This is a major sign of illegitimate services.  

    • Verify all routing and account numbers for your bank account are correct if you are planning on a direct deposit return before signing off on your returns.


  • If you suspect you are a victim of identity theft due to a tax scam, you can follow the information provided by the IRS to take appropriate action: Suspected Tax Fraud

  • To learn about more information about IRS tax scams visit the following IRS page: Tax Scam Consumer Alert


For more information about general cybersecurity, visit Stony Brook University’s Cybersecurity website -