As the April tax filing deadline approaches, scammers are increasingly on the hunt for your personal information. Here are six of the most common scams to watch out for, according to the Internal Revenue Service.
Con artists use unsolicited email and fake websites to lure potential victims into divulging personal information. The IRS does not contact taxpayers via email, text messages or social media channels to request personal or financial information. You can report any activity you deem suspicious to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Don’t be fooled by scammers asking you to “verify” your W-2 or personal information. If the IRS needed to request ID verification, they will generally send a letter 5071C (check the upper corner for the number) in the mail and ask you to verify your identity using the identity Verification Service.
Scammers impersonating IRS agents may make aggressive or threatening calls demanding money or offering a refund. Sometimes they even alter their Caller ID information to make it appear like they are calling from an IRS office. The first IRS contact with taxpayers is usually via mail.
Inflated refund claims
Beware of tax preparers who ask you to sign a blank check and promise big refunds before looking at your records or charge fees based on the percentage of your refund.
After disasters, it’s common for scammers to impersonate charities. You can use IRS.gov to find out which ones are legitimate. Don’t give out personal information. Don’t give or send cash, and don’t be pressured into making a decision on the phone.
False tax returns
One of the most common tax scams is usually the result of identity theft that involves filing tax returns using stolen Social Security numbers. Protect your personal data; check your credit report at least annually, and review your Social Security Administration earnings statement each year.
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