Tax season scams : Identity theft scammers are on the loose

It’s getting close to that time of the year again, tax season.

Whether you’re getting a refund from your domain investments, or have to pay taxes, the IRS isn’t the only party interested in your financials.

Scams are on the rise right before and during the annual tax season, particularly since so much private information was leaked in the Equifax data breach.

There will be phonecalls claiming to be from the IRS that is supposedly about to sue you, fake collection agencies, and even people claiming to call from healthcare providers.

Today I dealt with the latter kind, calling from an 855 prefix that is not designated to a specific geographical area. Basically, it’s just like any other 800 number, but in this case, it matched the prefix number of my health care provider.

As a result, my defenses and usually high level of awareness turned to jello.

The person who called left a voicemail about how I need to call them back within two business days. Having called the main department just two days ago, I wondered what was going on, and called that number.

Their attitude was aggressive from the get-go: I had to be “verified” in order for them to disclose an “important issue” and that the conversation was being recorded.

I told them that I’m not giving out any such information, and that I’d call the main support number instead. They got very upset with my response, and eventually hang up on me. I called back, and from the background noise I could tell they were driving; they hang up once again.

I then called the healthcare provider’s main number, and they confirmed that the phone number that sought to verify me, is not one of theirs. As much as I am tempted to call the scammer’s number back and give them a piece of my mind, I’ve now blocked them.

In the domain world, the same scam can be facilitated with people claiming to call from domain registrars, especially popular ones, such as This type of social engineering can cost you a valuable domain, after you surrender your account credentials to the person that asks for it.

Consumers and small business owners that are anxious their businesses and projects operate smoothly, will often disclose important personal information to domain name hijackers.

Moral of the story: never let your defenses down, and don’t automatically treat incoming calls as legitimate. Never give private information to the operators of these numbers; initiate the call to the primary contact number of the company they claim to represent.

Safe domaining.

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