Every year, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) shares a list of the most common tax scams, including new variations on old schemes. To help protect taxpayers against these scams, the IRS highlights one scam for 12 consecutive weeks as part of its campaign.

Fake emails, text messages, websites, and social media continue to be the top places criminals use to attempt to steal personal information, making identity theft a top concern for everyone — taxpayers, businesses, and tax professionals. The top form of protection for everyone is reviewing safety tips, as well as being aware of criminals’ schemes. Head over to irs.gov and search “Dirty Dozen” to read this year’s annual list.

Here are a few important security tips to always keep in mind:

  • Never provide money to threatening callers claiming to be a government agency. Reputable companies will never threaten you for immediate payment. Always protect your credit and debit cards, account numbers, and personal information.
  • If you see an unexpected deposit in your account, contact your financial institution to help identify the source.
  • Never respond to or click on a link within an email from an unknown sender.
  • Arm yourself with information on how the IRS conducts business. Most importantly, the IRS initiates most contacts through regular mail. Find out more at irs.gov and search for “Avoid scams: Know the facts.”