It’s more important than ever to protect yourself from the criminals who would do anything to scam you out of your hard-earned money. One of the biggest areas in which these criminals try to con you is tax related, because they realize most law-abiding citizens respond when ethe Internal Revenue Service contacts them.
At E-file we want to help you become aware of the year’s most common scams.
1. Tax-refund fraud: Scammers have been systematically stealing Social Security numbers and then filing false tax returns in the names of their theft victims. Most of the time the scammers will claim to have a low income and make significant deductions to claim a very high refund.
This will adversely affect you when you go to file your legitimate refund. The IRS believes that you already filed your return and will reject your submission. Now, you would think that because you can prove you are and that you have evidence that you are the legal holder of the social security number used to defraud the IRS, it would be a quick fix. Unfortunately, when this happens, it may take over a year until the situation is resolved.
2. Phone scams from fake IRS agents: This scam works on the people who do not realize that the real IRS will never have an agent call you on the phone and ask you for a credit card number to pay for an error that you supposedly made on your tax return. The fake “agent” will assume a polite and professional manner in an attempt to make you believe you’re really speaking to an IRS employee.
Then when you do not give them your credit card or ask for some kind of verification of their position, they will turn hostile and start threatening criminal proceedings against you or that they will send the police to your house to arrest you.
If you find yourself on the phone with one of these scammers, ask for their name, title and phone number—and then call your local police department to give them the information.
3. Fake tax preparers: Believe it or not, there are scammers who are bold enough to present themselves as tax preparers. They will pretend to offer services -etethat require the personal information of a taxpayer. Once they have someone’s personal information they can use it for purchases or even file fraudulent returns.
The scam is usually most prevalent with those who do not speak English well or who are newer to the country. Make sure to ask for references from any potential tax preparer.
4. Phishing email scams: If you receive an email from a tax preparation website, look very carefully at the sender. Many scammers create web addresses that are very similar to legitimate websites, to the point that unless you look closely you’ll miss the subtle difference from the legitimate site.
The email will invite you to sign into an account or to click a link for a great offer that would save you significantly on tax preparation. Instead, you’re taken to a site where the thieves can capture the information enteredn. These sites can also sometimes install malware on your computer.
These are just a few of the popular scams out there, which is why it is important to work with a trusted tax preparation site like E-file.com.