BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — It’s that time of year again — tax season is upon us.

Tax season can be very stressful for many, but it can get even more frustrating when there are scammers out there trying to steal your personal information.

“Unfortunately, every year thousands of Americans lose millions of dollars on these tax scams,” said Matt Krueger, communications director of the Better Business Bureau.

The most common tax season scam, according to Krueger, is when the scammer impersonates the IRS, claiming you owe thousands in back taxes or trying to give you a fake refund.

“The IRS impersonation scam is when you get a phone call, usually very angrily, from somebody claiming to be the IRS,” said Krueger, “They insist you give them your credit card number or your cash app information, and of course, this isn’t true.”

Though these calls can be very convincing, Krueger says this is not how the IRS will contact you initially.

“The IRS does most of its communication through the United States postal service. They’re going to send you a notice in the mail. They will call you, but only after they sent you a number of notices and they’re finding that they are not getting in contact with you,” said Krueger.

If you do receive one of these phone calls, Krueger recommends, the best thing to do is to hang up.

“The simplest thing to do to guarantee you know who you’re talking to the right people is to hang up on them and call the IRS yourself.”

For more information on these scams, visit the Better Business Bureau‘s page on tips on avoiding tax scams.

Hope Winter is a reporter and multimedia journalist who has been part of the News 4 team since 2021. See more of her work here.