Tax season can be a time to receive money back into your pocket. Unfortunately, there’s nothing stopping scammers from trying to take that money from you.
According to Randolph Brooks Federal Credit Union officials, taxpayers should be aware of the “Dirty Dozen,” a list compiled by the Internal Revenue Service of the top 12 tax scams.
Some of these scams include the following.
- Impersonation: Impersonation typically occurs through unsolicited phone calls or emails. The fraudster may threaten the victim with consequences like legal action or arrests if they don’t immediately pay the IRS. However, RBFCU officials say the IRS will never reach out over the phone and won’t create fear with urgent threats. IRS notices are always mailed to the filer directly, and the IRS will never demand real-time payments — especially through unconventional methods like gift cards or a mobile payment service.
- Fraudulent return preparers: Individuals who choose to work with a tax preparer should be vigilant. People who work with tax preparers who turn out to be scammers can unwittingly be accused of committing fraud or some criminal activity themselves, RBFCU officials said. According to Consumer Reports, filers should check the IRS’ Directory of Federal Tax Return Preparers. The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants can also help consumers find licensed CPAs.
Once it’s time for you to get that tax refund check, ensure it’s received through direct deposit, RBFCU officials said. Mailboxes can be broken into, or your check might be delivered to the wrong mailbox.
If you notice a tax-related scam, it’s important to report it. The IRS can be contacted for all tax scams by emailing phishing@IRS.gov.
You can also contact the Treasury Inspector General or the Federal Trade Commission.