According to the Better Business Bureau, one of the top scams right now is people impersonating the IRS. Con artists are using the social security numbers of unsuspecting people to file phone tax returns and steal their funds.
How the scam works is online filers that go through the IRS website usually expect a refund. Instead, a written IRS notice arrives in the mail saying that more than one tax return was filed using your social security number.
What happens is the scammer got a hold of your personal information, like your address or birthday, and tried to file your return.
Tax ID theft can be hard to spot because victims usually don’t realize they have been targeted until they file their taxes.
Julie Wheeler, the President and CEO of BBB Serving Western VA, says, “Anytime that they use a government agency, whether it is IRS, Medicare, social security, it gets people’s attention because none of us want to be in trouble or have an issue with any government organizations.”
The BBB says the best way to avoid tax scams to is file early and watch out for red flags. This could be responding to any written notices from the IRS and contacting them immediately.
You should also protect your social security number and research your tax preparer.