How to Avoid Tax Return Phishing Scams


As the seasons change, scammers may utilize different ways of stealing financial identities.

Once such scenario may be found within the phishing strategies used by thieves seeking to steal personal data during the tax season, according to Victory State Bank, Staten Island’s only community-based commercial bank.

Thieves view tax time as yet another seasonal opportunity to target potential victims, the bank warns. The problem is so prolific that the New York State Department of State's Division of Consumer Protection is alerting consumers to be wary of nationwide tax preparer scams.

According to the Division, scammers have been impersonating tax return websites to gain information, such as your name and Social Security number, to file fraudulent tax returns. Though some emails can clearly be seen as fake because they are short or lack content, others are very detailed and use pictures found on actual tax preparer websites.

Once you click the link to the fake website, scammers gain access to your personal information by having you enter it directly onto their website. Once you do, they can use your Social Security number to file a fraudulent return in your name. 


The Division of Consumer Protection offers the following tips for protecting yourself from phishing scams, tax-related or otherwise:

  • When opening e-mails, do not click any links. Users can hover over a link and examine the URL that appears. If it is a different website then the one you intended, DO NOT CLICK IT. These links can expose your computer to great risks.
  • Type in the website you want to go to DIRECTLY into your web bar. By doing this, you prevent going to any harmful websites that can steal your data.
  • For general tips about “phishing” go to the Division’s Phishing Scam Prevention Tips here.



About Victory State Bank


VSB Bancorp, Inc. (OTCQX: VSBN) is the one-bank holding company for Victory State Bank. As Staten Island, N.Y.’s only community-based commercial bank, Victory State Bank operates five full-service locations on the Island: The main office in the community of Great Kills, and branches in the communities of West Brighton, St. George, Dongan Hills and Rosebank. For additional information, Victory State Bank may be reached at 718-979-1100 or visited online at


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