Consumer warning: How to foil new tax fraud

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7 On Your Side's Nina Pineda has tips on how tp prevent identity theft.

The IRS has a new warning, sounding the alarm about a new, elaborate scam that's trending.

In just the last week, it's targeting thousands of taxpayers. The costly con job is taking dead aim at your tax refund.

The scam starts when thieves hack into accountants' computer files, taking your personal information. The scammers file with the IRS for a fraudulent return.

Then the IRS suddenly will credit your bank account with the scam refund.

That's when a scammer posing as an IRS debt collector calls you on the phone. He or she threatens you with an arrest warrant, then asks you send that refund money to him or her immediately.

If you receive a fraudulent refund -- either by check or direct deposit -- first notify the IRS, the FBI and local police about the breach.

Be wary of calls or emails from someone who says they're with the IRS. Remember the IRS initiates contact first by standard mail, not phone.

And don't bow to threats and high pressure tactics. These scammers are threatening to blacklist your Social Security number if you don't send them the money. You have to protect that number at all costs.

Click here for more information from the IRS.


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