Although tax season has come to a close, scammers are still out there and will be for a while. The most important thing to remember is to always keep your personal information, i.e. social security number, banking information, date of birth, address and full name private.
Here are some common scams to watch out for:
A phone call from the IRS-The caller will identify themselves as an IRS agent and say that you owe them a certain amount of money and if you do not pay, you will be arrested or deported.
The IRS does not make threatening phone calls; their usual method of contact is via US mail.
DO NOT stay on the phone with them, they could be collecting data from your phone. If you do receive one of these phone calls, report them to the US Treasury Inspector General at 1-800-366-4484.
Email-They will claim that you owe money or are due a refund however; that you need to send or verify your social security number and other personal information. NEVER give personal information over the phone or via email.
Phone call or email claiming to be a charity-If you have recently lost a family member due to an illness and their obituary was published in a newspaper, scammers will claim to be a charity based on that illness and ask for a donation to that organization. One way to verify tht they are a legitimate charity is to go to the IRS website at www.apps.irs.gov/app/eos/. Again, never give any personal information out over the phone or in an email.
Scammers pretending to be tax preparers-If you fall for this, they will modify your return so that you get a higher refund and then steal it. They may even charge you a high fee for their service.
Things that are too good to be true-Scammers will tell you of certain investments that have no fees and very high returns or putting money in offshore accounts to avoid IRS detection. Do not fall for these scams or anything else that sounds too good to be true.
Some of the information in this article was obtained from “The Essential Tax Guide 2018 Edition”.
I cannot stress enough; do not give out any personal information over the phone or via email.
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