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BE ON ALERT FOR TAX SCAMS!

Tax-scams, also called IRS schemes aim to steal your identity and gain access to your accounts.  These schemes may be acted out through phone calls, e-mails, & other forms of electronic communication. Most commonly, the schemes have been said to come in the guise of phony agents using  fake badge numbers and common American names.  When they call they present limited personal information of you and can even manipulate your caller ID to show the number is from Washington, D.C.  Past victims have stated that when they called the number back, they reached an answering machine saying “You have reached the criminal investigation division of the IRS”.   Another common trait of the schemes is said to be the threat of jail time if you don’t comply and the person who returns your call claims to be a policeman.   Most commonly, the tact used to commit this type of fraud is saying that you owe the IRS money and you will need to disclose account numbers and other personal information in order to make recompense. E-mails and other websites could include links that will infect your computers to gain access to your personal information.

At First Northern, we tell our customers to make sure they know whether the IRS is really contacting them by visiting www.irs.gov. The website will make it clear as to whether or not you are receiving a scam. They do not “initiate contact with taxpayers by e-mail to request personal information. This includes any type of electronic communication such as text messages and social media channels.” An IRS agency will always send written notifications of any tax due through the mail. They also do not ask for credit, debit, or prepaid card numbers over the phone; as well as PINs or passwords. If you believe you are receiving a scam ask for a call back number and employee badge number. Report those details to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration and the Federal Trade Commission using the “FTC Complaint Assistant” at FTC.gov.

You can also take our Financial Education Program posted on our website at 1stnorthernbank.com. There are tutorials to learn more about taxes as well as savings/investments, mortgages, overdrafts, payment types, credit scores/reports, identity protection, and financial higher education.

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