Posted 07 February 2023
It’s Tax Time! Be on Alert for Scams
Tax time can not only be a stressful as you work to file your taxes by the April deadline, but it can also be stressful because of the increased amount of scams happening. Fraudsters know you are working to meet a deadline so they will play off of any emotions you may be feeling to try and con you into one of their many scams. Be prepared and aware to avoid falling victim to any tax time scams.
While the tax filing deadline approaches you may notice more activity happening on your phone. You may be receiving more spam calls each day. Spam calls still happen because fraudsters are successful at tricking people over the phone. In some cases you may receive a phone call from someone claiming to be with the IRS warning you that you owe money on your taxes and try to scare you into paying immediately. The important thing to know is that the IRS will never call you to demand funds immediately, they typically will send mail correspondence to communicate. The best thing to do when you receive an unexpected call is to not answer. It is also important to be wary of any text messages you receive, especially if there is a link to click on. Don’t click on the link and report these as spam.
False Tax Preparers
Be cautious when selecting who will help you prepare your taxes. It is not common, but there are some cases where people think they are working with a professional tax consultant and end up getting tricked. Either they will file your taxes with false information to defraud you or they may collect your debit card or bank account information so you can “receive” your return only to gain access to your accounts. If you are going to work with someone to file your taxes do your research to be sure that they are reputable.
Tax Return Loans
One other area that can be riddled with fraud is fake companies offering tax return loans that you can pay back once you receive your actual tax return. Some companies will actually offer you a real loan with an outrageous interest rates, and you could end up paying twice as much as your borrowed. Other companies you may never receive the loan money after providing your account information. It is best to work with well-known loan providers if this is an option you are looking for.
For most fraud the best thing you can do is stop and think. Does the situation make sense? Are you being pressured to make a decision quickly? Don’t let scammers play off of your emotions and if you feel as though you have been scammed during tax season, you can report companies or individuals to the IRS on their website, IRS.gov.
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