Are you thinking about taxes while you’re enjoying the warm summer months? Not likely! But the IRS wants you to know that scammers ARE thinking about taxes and ways to dupe you out of your money.
Tax scams can happen anytime of the year, not just during tax season. Three common year-round scams are identity theft, phishing and return preparer fraud. These three are identified by the IRS as follows:
1. Identity Theft. Tax fraud by identity theft tops this year’s Dirty Dozen list. Identity thieves use personal information, such as your name, Social Security number or other identifying information without your permission to commit fraud or other crimes. An identity thief may also use another person’s identity to fraudulently file a tax return and claim a refund.
2. Phishing. Scam artists use phishing to trick unsuspecting victims into revealing personal or financial information. Phishing scammers may pose as the IRS and send bogus emails, set up phony websites or make phone calls. These contacts usually offer a fictitious refund or threaten an audit or investigation to lure victims into revealing personal information. Phishers then use the information they obtain to steal the victim’s identity, access their bank accounts and credit cards or apply for loans. The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email to request personal or financial information.
3. Return Preparer Fraud. Most tax professionals file honest and accurate returns for their clients. However, some dishonest tax return preparers skim a portion of the client’s refund or charge inflated fees for tax preparation. Some try to attract new clients by promising refunds that are too good to be true.
For the full list of 2013 Dirty Dozen tax scams, or to find out how to report suspected tax fraud, visit IRS.gov or contact the office.
Tags: Tax Scams
Written by: Doug Rodrigues