MacDirectory Magazine

Rachel Gray

MacDirectory magazine is the premiere creative lifestyle magazine for Apple enthusiasts featuring interviews, in-depth tech reviews, Apple news, insights, latest Apple patents, apps, market analysis, entertainment and more.

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Page 78 of 139

The TAS Scam Scammers call taxpayers claiming to be from the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS), a division of the IRS that was formed to help taxpayers. They sometimes use caller ID spoofing to make the calls appear to originate from an actual TAS regional office. If a target answers the call (or returns the pre-recorded “robocall”), the scammers will try to convince them to give out sensitive personal data such as a Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number. Here’s how to spot these scams: The TAS is real, but they don’t randomly reach out to taxpayers looking to help them. In other words, if you haven’t contacted the TAS first, then they aren’t going to call you — and anyone who does call you saying they’re from the TAS is a scammer. Hang up the phone and don’t engage such callers. Ghost Tax Preparers Ghost tax preparers are consumer fraudsters. They pretend to be legitimate tax prep professionals, but their goal is to abscond with tax preparation fees or, in some cases, to steal people’s tax refunds. Sometimes, ghost preparers will agree to work for a percentage of the total tax refund they get for the taxpayer — and will misrepresent a victim’s tax liability to the IRS in order to artificially inflate their commission! Ghost tax preparers can be spotted by their refusal to adhere to the norms and rules followed by legitimate tax preparers. If they refuse to sign your tax return with their official (and legally required) Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN), you’re almost certainly dealing with a scammer. Whatever you do, don’t sign that return and mail it in yourself, which is typically what they’ll ask you to do in order to avoid having to use a PTIN. Watch out for other signs of fraud as well, such as preparers who won’t give you a receipt, or who insist on cash payments. And if you’re getting a refund via direct deposit, always double-check your tax return before it’s filed to make sure the account info is correct — some unscrupulous tax preparers swap out their bank details for their customers’, stealing their refunds! About SecureMac  Founded in 1999, SecureMac ( has been a leading contributor to Apple security since the 2005 release of the original MacScan anti-malware tool. In the years since, SecureMac has continued to play an essential role in providing macOS users with straightforward options for better security. From the development of the faster and more powerful MacScan 3 to the company’s ongoing development of online privacy tool PrivacyScan, users can easily equip themselves for protection. With the addition of The Checklist, SecureMac continues to showcase a deep commitment to accessible security and the importance of digital awareness for all Mac users. For more info visit

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