Scam artists adopt false identities as a way to extract personal information from their targets or to plant destructive software into a person’s computer.
The IRS never contacts people via email or phone.
They often pretend to be IRS agents, informing their targets of problems with their returns or refunds and telling them that the only solution is to send their Social Security numbers or bank account information.
Once they have a Social Security number in hand, the scammers can file a phony tax return in the victim's name, claiming a large refund and having it sent to a false address.
One of the surest signs of a scam is when tax preparers make unrealistic promises, guaranteeing huge payouts, regardless of an individual’s financial situation.
Another way is they are telling people their payments are rejected. Asking for another credit card or insisting that they wire the money immediately or risk imprisonment.
They claim that the IRS is holding their money because of scammers. They will request their personal information to ensure they are speaking with the actual client due the refund and then will release the funds to them.
Taxpayers also need to be wary of ghost preparers, unlicensed companies or websites whose only goal is to take advantage of their so-called clients.
You should use only a tax service that is well-known, established or registered with the IRS.
You can contact A.A.R.P. for tax help who will prepare a simple return at no cost for low income households. Check below for locations to get assistance:
Intuit Turbo Tax
Internal Revenue Service