(PatriotWise.com)- According to the IRS, tax frauds have cost tens of thousands of taxpayers millions of dollars in recent years. The problem is so widespread that the Internal Revenue Service publishes an annual “Dirty Dozen” list of the most common tax fraud schemes.
Around tax filing season, con artists are at their most active. Don’t fall prey to a tax scam; learn about the most frequent methods crooks use to steal your money, so you’ll be ready if it happens to you. If you are a victim of tax fraud, take action as soon as possible to clear your record before too much harm is done.
When thieves send bogus IRS emails, they aim to trick you into sharing sensitive information such as website passwords and credit card data.
The IRS exclusively sends letters and notifications; it doesn’t phone, text, or utilize social media to collect or confirm financial or personal information. If you get an email that appears to be from the Internal Revenue Service, do not open it. Any unsolicited email that you believe is phishing should be reported to the IRS at [email protected]
You may receive a phone call from someone posing as an IRS official requesting personal information. If you don’t cooperate, they may threaten you with a lawsuit or inform you that you owe money.
According to the US Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, telephone fraudsters imitating IRS tax collectors may demand payment for your “tax obligation” via a prepaid debit card, wire transfer, or iTunes gift card.
If you receive a hoax call, hang up right away. Remember that the IRS does not contact individuals as the first point of contact and that an IRS lawsuit call is quite rare. If you’ve been a victim of an IRS impersonation fraud, file a complaint on the TIGTA website to prevent others from being taken advantage.
Criminals take your personal information and use it to submit a false tax return in your name to get a large refund. Your valid tax return may be rejected as a duplicate submission.
If you’ve been a victim of identity theft, contact the Federal Trade Commission. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is the federal government’s one-stop-shop for identity theft victims, including simplified procedures and example letters to help you get back on your feet.
Many people hire a tax preparer to help them with their taxes. If you don’t hire a trusted firm, you risk being duped.
During tax season, con artists typically act as tax preparers and entice victims by offering substantial returns. They may employ fliers, ads, and bogus stores to attract consumers. They may also give talks to local community organizations or churches.
Before you provide any tax person with your personal information, do some research online to check whether his name or firm has been linked to any frauds. Check out websites like ComplaintsBoard.com and RipoffReport.com as well.