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Avoid the “Dirty Dozen” Tax Scams!

  • Author: Esther Silver

  • Date:

The Internal Revenue Service has announced its 2022 “Dirty Dozen” list of tax scams.  This year’s list of what to look out for is broken down into five categories:

  • Potentially abusive arrangements including charitable remainder annuity trusts, Maltese individual retirement arrangements, foreign captive insurance, and monetized installment sales.
  • Pandemic-related scams related to Economic Impact Payment and tax refund scams, unemployment fraud leading to inaccurate taxpayer 1099-Gs, fake employment offers on social media, and fake charities that steal taxpayers' money.
  • Scams from compromise “mills” that make ridiculous offers to reduce tax liability to pennies on the dollar for a fee. 
  • Suspicious communications via email, social media, telephone, and text messages. For a list of what makes a communication suspicious, review Cialdini’s 6 Principles of Persuasion: A Simple Summary.
  • Spear phishing attacks to try to steal taxpayers’ information to file fraudulent tax returns and claim refunds.

The IRS estimates that identity thieves have stolen billions via tax fraud. Don’t become another victim!

Be on the alert for: 

  • Any message asking for W-2 or other tax information.
  • Authentic looking emails impersonating UC or UCSF communications about accessing your W-2.
  • Messages that look like they are from executive management requesting copies of employee W-2s for review purposes.
  • Messages with links that encourage you to click on them, offer you something for nothing, or threaten you.
  • Any message asking for your user ID or passwords.
  • Unexpected phone calls about tax information or charitable donations or calls asking you to install software.
  • Messages using keywords such as "coronavirus," "COVID-19" and "Stimulus".

Protect yourself:

  • To access your W-2 statement, visit the University of California UCPath Online website via MyAccess instead of clicking on a link in an email. 
  • Use a different way to validate any request for W-2 or other tax information, even if it looks like a legitimate request. For example, if you receive an email, call the person to verify.
  • Do not reply to emails asking for your password or SSN.
  • Familiarize yourself with the IRS’ "Dirty Dozen" tax scams so you recognize them.

Take the IT Security Tax Fraud Awareness Quiz. 

Everyone who passes is entered to win one of six $50 Amazon Gift Cards.

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Additional Information

IRS Tax Scams/Consumer Alerts

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