My son is annoyed that telemarketers and scammers have figured out his cell phone number. He doesn’t have a credit card—so there’s no Citibank card to be compromised—and he doesn’t drive—so his car warranty is not in danger of expiring soon. More often than not, we joke that “Mr. Scam Likely” is calling.

But scammers keep calling because every now and again, they get lucky. With a few sneaky phrases—and often, some intimidation—they can trick victims into giving up personally identifiable information used to steal identities or handing over bank and credit card information.

Thieves don’t just rely on car warranties and credit card schemes: They also use tax-related scams. That’s why for nearly two decades, the IRS has issued an annual “Dirty Dozen” list, highlighting a variety of attempts to steal money and information from taxpayers, tax professionals, and financial institutions.

That hasn’t changed as we are coming out of…

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