Tax Scams To Keep In Mind Before The Deadline
Scammers are always looking to prey on the unknowing, but the stakes are especially high this time of year when everyone is preparing (or scrambling to prepare) their tax returns. As you get ready to file, take some extra precaution to avoid being the target of a scam that could cost you more than just this year’s refund.
Here Are Some Tips To Help Keep You Safe:
- This may sound obvious, but keep your SS # under tight wraps. In order to file a fake return, a scammer just needs your name and your social security number. They can make up the other info, like a W-2, and collect a return in your name, effectively stealing your precious identity. (That’s yours, not theirs!)
- Don’t give info over the phone. Period. The person calling is not the IRS. The IRS will never ask for your credit card number over the phone, nor would they demand you file without giving you the chance for an appeal. Not gonna happen.
- Choose your preparer wisely. Scammers have been known to pose as tax preparers right around this time of year. Don’t let some bogus shop handle your return. An authorized tax preparer will be assigned an IRS Preparer Tax Identification Number(PTIN). Plus, for Pete’s sake they shouldn’t be telling you to deposit your money into their bank account. That’s a surefire way for them to skim some money off the top!
- The bit about giving info over the phone? The same goes for email. No one needs your social security number to give you a lump sum of money. None of your friends are stuck in a foreign country and need you to wire money. The IRS is not emailing you to ask you for personal information. I promise.
Good luck getting your taxes filed in time. Unless you’re a scammer – then the only kind of luck we wish you is bad luck.
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