It’s tax season, and as always, that means there are scammers out there trying to take advantage of taxpayers. Over the years, the scams have evolved, but the premise is usually the same: identity thieves steal personal data and attempt to file a return using the taxpayer’s information.
A new scam that has been seen this year involves the thieves using a taxpayer’s real bank account for depositing the return. The scammers steal data from tax practitioners’ computers, then file a fraudulent tax return using the taxpayer’s information. The return is deposited into the taxpayer’s bank account. Then a scammer claiming to be from a debt collection agency contacts the taxpayer and claims the refund was deposited in error, and asks the taxpayer to forward the money to them instead.
Why are scammers using taxpayers’ real bank accounts for this scam? They know that it is more difficult for the IRS to catch them if they are using real client data.
Protect Yourself from Scams
To protect yourself from these types of tax season scams, do the following:
File your taxes as early as possible.
If you receive a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS, hang up immediately and do not give them any information. The IRS does not call filers; they will only contact you via physical mail.
The IRS also does not initiate communication via email. If you have an email from someone supposedly from the IRS, do not respond.
If you are filing your taxes with a tax practitioner, make sure that they are a well-known, established organization, or are registered with the IRS.
Report any suspicious behavior that could be tax fraud to the IRS by emailing email@example.com.
“Tax season scams are a serious problem facing consumers, even more so now that our world has become increasingly digital. Beware of these scammers and when in doubt, do not give out your personal information,” said Attorney Walter Clark, founder of Walter Clark Legal Group.
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DISCLAIMER: The Walter Clark Legal Group blog is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended as legal or medical advice. References to laws are based on general legal practices and vary by location. Information reported comes from secondary news sources. We do handle these types of cases, but whether or not the individuals and/or loved ones involved in these accidents choose to be represented by a law firm is a personal choice we respect. Should you find any of the information incorrect, we welcome you to contact us with corrections.
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