NEW YORK (WABC) -- We're officially in the thick of tax season, and that means it is primetime for people to fall prey to tax scams.
7 On Your Side's Nina Pineda has tips on what to look out for so you don't fall victim.
"The IRS warned taxpayers today to be on the lookout for a new scam mailing that tries to mislead people into believing they are owed a refund. The new scheme involves a mailing coming in a cardboard envelope from a delivery service. The enclosed letter includes the IRS masthead and wording that the notice is "in relation to your unclaimed refund."
Like many scams, the letter includes contact information and a phone number that does not belong to the IRS. But it also seeks a variety of sensitive personal information from taxpayers - including detailed pictures of driver's licenses - that can be used by identity thieves to try obtaining a tax refund and other sensitive financial information."
- We're always talking about the new tech scams and how as technology improves so do these scams, but we can't forget about old school was. Not many people would think they could get scammed through the mail.
"The IRS issued a consumer alert today to warn taxpayers of new scams that urge people to use wage information on a tax return to claim false credits in hopes of getting a big refund.
One scheme, which is circulating on social media, encourages people to use tax software to manually fill out Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, and include false income information. In this W-2 scheme, scam artists suggest people make up large income and withholding figures as well as the employer it is coming from. Scam artists then instruct people to file the bogus tax return electronically in hopes of getting a substantial refund - sometimes as much as five figures - due to the large amount of withholding."
- There's no way to "hack" your taxes and try to get something more than you're owed so if someone is suggesting that. It's a dead giveaway on a scam.
With the new tax season starting this week, the IRS reminds taxpayers to be aware that criminals continue to make aggressive calls posing as IRS agents in hopes of stealing taxpayer money or personal information.
Here are some telltale signs of a tax scam along with actions taxpayers can take if they receive a scam call.
- Call to demand immediate payment using a specific payment method such as a prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer. Generally, the IRS will first mail a bill to any taxpayer who owes taxes.
- Threaten to immediately bring in local police or other law enforcement groups to have the taxpayer arrested for not paying.
- Demand that taxes be paid without giving taxpayers the opportunity to question or appeal the amount owed.
- Call unexpectedly about a tax refund.
- We always talk about the classic phone scam, and these are on the rise with tax season. Stay alert and make sure you do not fall victim to these scammers.
We recalculated your tax refund and you need to fill out this form
- "These scam emails display the IRS logo and use subject lines such as "Tax Refund Payment" or "Recalculation of your tax refund payment." It asks people to click a link and provide their Social Security numbers, birthday, address, driver's license number and other personal information in order to submit a fake form to allegedly claim their refund. These scammers may also sometimes use a ".edu" email address to target college students."
- "These emails are intended to trick the reader into clicking on links that lead to a fake IRS-like website and expose the user to malware. The IRS never emails taxpayers about the status of their tax refunds. We've collected in one place the links to track the status of your tax refund directly with the IRS or your state's tax authority."
You can learn more at:
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Plan. (VITA) = $60,000 (not $64,000) or less - https://www.benefits.gov/benefit/1543
IRS Free File - $79,000 or less - https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-free-file-now-available-free-service-through-irsgov-available-for-millions-of-taxpayers
Tax counseling for the elderly=Age 60 - https://www.benefits.gov/benefit/722
Direct File Pilot Program= (NY only ) - https://www.irs.gov/about-irs/strategic-plan/direct-file
(NY is one of the states that is adopting this but NJ is not)
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