Your security is very important to us. Here are some tips to keep your personal information safe online.
We protect your personal information
We will never send an unexpected or unsolicited request for personal information. We'll never ask for birthdates, Social Security numbers, or bank information. In some instances, if you're locked out of your account, customer support may ask you to verify some personal information before unlocking your account, but we'll never contact you first and ask for personal information.
How to detect a suspicious email
Most fraudulent messages have these things in common:
- The email will be unexpected and request that action be taken.
- The message will include alarming language.
- The email will ask you to provide personal information like your username, password, date of birth, Social Security number, etc.
- Links will not take you to the domain they claim to be from.
- The message will have an attachment or ask you to download something.
What to do when you get a suspicious email
If you receive a suspicious email, please follow these guidelines:
- Don't reply, click any links, load images, or open attachments.
- Forward suspicious emails to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
- Report the email as spam.
- Check the validity of the message by going to FreeTaxUSA.com directly (not through a link in the email) and signing in to your account. We will post any messages about your tax return in your account message area.
Replying to emails puts you at risk
When you reply to an email, the scammer will know your email address is valid and that you received their message. Scammers will send thousands of emails in hopes of catching a few people that fall for their fake email.
Don't load images or open attachments
Loading images and opening attachments from a phishing email is dangerous. Sometimes viruses are embedded in images, so when you download the image, you download the virus. Likewise, suspicious attachments usually contain malware which can infect your computer. Don't download or open any attachments unless you're expecting them from someone you know personally.
Check before you click
Safe links in our emails will contain "FreeTaxUSA.com/". It's important that the link includes both the .com and the slash at the end (".com/"). Some fraudulent sites will use a link like "www.freetaxusa.com.fakesite.com/" to fool you. Even though the fake link has "freetaxusa.com" in it, the website is actually "fakesite.com/" with "www.freetaxusa.com" added to the beginning to try to trick you. Also watch out for small typos in the website name. If an email is suspicious, don't click on any links. Instead, open a new tab and go to our website directly. For any emails you receive, it's good practice to hover over links and check where they will take you before clicking.
What is "phishing"?
Email phishing is a scam where a fraudulent email imitates a legitimate company's email message and requests or "phishes" for private information from individuals.
Phishing emails look legitimate
These fake emails will look very official and have logos and formatting identical to legitimate emails from the same website. A link may have part of the real company's website in it. Without careful inspection, even the links will look legitimate. Some links, like the unsubscribe link, will still take you to the official website while other links may be fraudulent. If you are ever in doubt, visit the FreeTaxUSA website directly at https://www.freetaxusa.com.
Report phishing scams
Gmail, Yahoo, AOL, and other email providers enable you to report messages as spam. Some services allow you to report phishing scams too. If you report email phishing scams, filters can more easily detect fraudulent messages and keep everyone safe.
Pay attention to warnings
Email providers, like Gmail and Yahoo, have built-in filters that help detect phishing emails. Don't open any messages that your email provider has marked as spam.
Clicking links is dangerous
If you click a link, you could be taken to a fake sign-in screen where you may be asked to enter your username and password. Other times the links could lead to websites that will download viruses onto your computer.
Safely contact support
The safest way to contact FreeTaxUSA is by signing into your account and clicking Support in the top menu. If you are unable to sign in, please use the Sign In Help tool to access your account.