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Protect Yourself from Tax Season Fraud


Guard Your Personal Tax Information

Pacific Premier Bank considers the security of our clients’ financial well-being a top priority. An awareness of the most common cybersecurity scams and how to avoid them is key to prevention. With tax season upon us, we want to pay special attention to common scams targeting taxpayers and/or tax professionals.

Online Tax Scams

The IRS urges taxpayers to beware of any suspicious communication pertaining to taxes or other personal financial information. Email, social media, phone calls, and text messages are the most common forms of communication through which a scammer will attempt to trick victims into providing personal information.

One common scam is the online tax account scam. This occurs when a scammer offers to help an individual set up a personal account on Once receiving confidential personal information, the scammer may submit a fake tax return and have the refund sent directly to them. The personal information attained could also be used for identity theft, such as obtaining a loan at a financial institution. 

Tax Scam Terms to Know

  • Phishing: An email sent by fraudsters claiming to come from the IRS. The email lures the victims into the scam with a variety of ruses such as enticing victims with a phony tax refund or frightening them with false legal or criminal charges for tax fraud.
  • Smishing: A text or smartphone SMS message where scammers often use alarming language such as, “Your account has now been put on hold,” or “Unusual Activity Report,” with a bogus “Solutions” link to restore the recipient's account. Unexpected tax refunds are another potential target for scam artists.

DOs and DON’Ts to Avoiding Online Tax Scams:

  • DO set up your taxpayer account on by yourself—don’t seek third-party help to do this.
  • DON'T click unknown links in emails or texts. One way to spot a fraudulent communication is to check for spelling errors, particularly in email addresses or website links Scammers often create fake accounts or website addresses that are closely related to a source you trust.
  • DON'T  give personal information to anyone via email, text, phone, or social media if you suspect fraud.
  • DON'T  store personal or tax information in your email account.
  • DO report potential scammers and/or financial losses to the IRS as soon as possible.

If you suspect your accounts have been compromised due to fraud, please contact Client Services immediately at 855.343.4070, Monday - Friday, 7:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. PT, and Saturday, 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. PT.

For more cybersecurity tips, visit Pacific Premier Bank’s Cybersecurity Center.

The information expressed is being provided for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual or business. Pacific Premier Bank does not provide tax, legal, or accounting advice, and the information contained herein should not be construed as such. You should carefully consider your needs and objectives before making any decisions. For specific guidance on how this information should be applied to your situation or business, you should consult your own tax, legal, and accounting advisors before applying any recommendation.

Pacific Premier Bank will not text, email, or call you asking for your online banking password or one-time security code. Make sure you verify the person who has contacted you before acting on any request.

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