WATCH OUT: Anthem and Turbo Tax scams could be costly for taxpayers

Taxpayers who may have been affected by the recent data breach at Anthem are being advised to file tax returns as soon as possible.

“The personally identifiable information apparently hacked at Anthem is exactly what tax fraud thieves use to make false refund claims that appear to be legitimate,” said state Revenue Services Commissioner Kevin Sullivan said in an advisory.

“They will try to file for, and steal, the refund before the real taxpayer has a chance. Then the taxpayer will be denied the refund and it can take years to resolve the problem,” Sullivan said.

Anthem account data stolen

Anthem, a healthcare insurance provider, announced Feb. 6 that account data for millions of its insurance customers was stolen and issued a statement warning its customers about email scams.

The company also said scam email campaigns are targeting current and former Anthem members.

Anthem advised current and former members to not click on any links in email allegedly from Anthem, not reply to the email or reach out to the senders in any way, not provide any information on the website that may open if one clicks on a link in an email, and not open any attachments that arrive with email.

Anthem says it is not contacting its members by phone regarding the cyber attack, nor is it asking for credit card information or Social Security numbers over the phone.

Turbo Tax email scams a well

Sullivan advised that taxpayers using Turbo Tax in several states have been the target of fake emails with the title, “Your Turbo Tax account: Update your information,” coming from a fraudulent email address, The information given is then being used to steal tax refunds.

“Never, ever reply to online inquiries like this without first confirming directly with Turbo Tax or its parent company, Intuit, that the email is legitimate,” Sullivan said.

Turbo Tax users concerned about the security of their information may call a dedicated toll-free number at Intuit, 800-944-8596.