HATFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Tax season officially starts on Monday, and some people have already started to receive their W-2’s in the mail.

For those beginning this lengthy process, the IRS has a list of tips to help avoid fraud this season.

Often times personal information is compromised through phishing scams, so the best thing to do is:

IRS tips to avoid tax season fraud:

  1. Choose a tax preparer wisely. Look for a preparer who is available year-round.
  2. Ask your tax preparer for their IRS Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN). All paidpreparers are required to have one.
  3. Don’t use a ghost preparer. They won’t sign a tax return they prepare for you.
  4. Don’t fall victim to tax preparers’ promises of large refunds. Taxpayers must pay their fairshare of taxes.
  5. Don’t sign a blank tax return. Taxpayers are ultimately responsible for what appears ontax returns filed with the IRS.
  6. Make sure you receive your refund. Your refund should be deposited into your bankaccount, not your tax preparer’s.
  7. The IRS will not call you threatening legal action. If you receive a call like this, hang up.
  8. Don’t respond to text messages, emails or social media posts claiming to be the IRS. They may contain malware that could compromise your personal information.
  9. Don’t click links or open attachments in unsolicited emails or text messages about yourtax return. These messages are fraudulent.
  10. Protect your personal and financial information. Never provide this information inresponse to unsolicited text messages, emails or social media posts claiming to be the IRS.

Hatfield resident, Sherry Meade told 22News, “Right now in fact I almost fell for one just the other day there’s a lot of phishers out there. If you get an email that says even if you don’t recognize this number don’t call this number people just have to be careful.”

So again when preparing your taxes make sure you are not sharing your personal information with anyone.