From the office of Congressional First District Representative Rob Whitman…
As we approach the April 15th tax deadline, I wanted to update you on the latest tax scams list from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). In the digital age, we are all at risk of online scams that seek to steal personal information. Keeping families like yours safe from fraud is a high priority for me. Here are some of the ways people could try to gain access to your tax return:
1. Phishing schemes: This year the IRS is recommending you do not give your bank account information over email to anyone regarding your tax return. Criminals can sometimes deposit money into your account and request you refund them by giving out your bank account information. The IRS will never contact you via email to gain personal information.
2. Telephone scams: The IRS will never call and threaten to arrest or deport you. If you receive a threatening call, immediately hang up and report the call to the IRS by dialing 800-829-1040.
3. Identity theft: Many criminals could use your personal social security number to gain access to your tax return. Make sure to use a secure tax software that protects your identity to prevent this from happening.
4. Charity scams: Every year so many good-hearted people donate to fake charities without knowing. Before you donate, you should check the name of the charity and do research. Some scammers will even use names that are close to the name of a real charity. Along with the other scams, charities will never ask for your passwords or social security number.
5. Tax preparer fraud: Every year tax preparer fraud spikes at this time. If you don’t catch what they are doing you could end up in hot water with the IRS. One way to protect yourself is to do research on the company or the individual who prepares your taxes. Keep in mind that every tax preparer is required to have a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) with the IRS.
6. Inflated refunds: These individuals usually promise a high tax return by offering false information or stealing your tax return under a different name. Again, do a little research before giving any information to a tax preparer.
It’s always better to be safe than sorry. I don’t want the great folks of the First District to be a victim of any tax scam this season. If you take these precautions, you will be better equipped as you complete your taxes. However, if you suspect you have been the victim of a scam, contact the IRS immediately.