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6 Tax Scams to Avoid
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) often warns consumers about tax scams this time of year. While it's important to be alert as you work with your tax preparer or do your own yearly filing, watch out for these scams that happen year-round. If you encounter any of these scenarios, consider it a red flag.
- Phishing scams. fake emails or websites impersonating the IRS lure victims into sharing sensitive information.
- Phone scams. Criminals pretending to represent the IRS call victims demanding immediate payment and risk of arrest.
- Identity theft. Scammers pose as accountants or tax-return prepares, filing tax refunds using victims' Social Security numbers.
- Fake charities. Bogus charity funds preying on victims who have just received their tax returns.
- Inflated refund claims. Scammers promise inflated refunds in exchange for a signed tax return.
- Falsify income to claim increased credits. Criminals persuade victims to claim income that didn't happen with the goal of producing a higher return.
Be vigilant in doing your homework on your tax preparer and on the tax laws. Every year, new fraudulent methods to scam and steal from consumers and the IRS come to light. Don't be a victim, be sure to protect yourself.