Published: Sun, February 18, 2018
Business | By Max Garcia

IRS: Watch Out for Tax Refund Scam

IRS: Watch Out for Tax Refund Scam

The scammers claim the refund was too much and some of it must be returned. However, because of the nature of these scams, some businesses and organizations did not realize for days, weeks or months that they had been scammed.

Let the IRS know immediately if you think you've been a victim of a tax scheme.

The criminal would then contact the victim posing as an official from the IRS or another agency, telling them that the money was deposited in error, or threaten the victim with criminal fraud charges, and telling the victim to send the money to the criminals' agency. "We wanted to alert tax professionals to be on the lookout". They may use phishing and other tactics to steal the data from tax professionals' computers.

In addition to educating payroll personnel, the IRS urges employers to limit the number of employees who have authority to handle Form W-2 requests, and that they require additional verification procedures to validate the actual request before emailing sensitive data such as employee Form W-2s. Recipients should not open any attachments or click on any links contained in the message.

The taxpayer will receive an automated call from a representative claiming to be from the IRS.

The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers via email, text or social media, especially when seeking personal financial information. Do not provide information over the phone, even if the caller claims to be from the IRS or your bank.

Do not give out personal information over the phone. But don't be frightened into making a costly mistake. Then, report the call to the Federal Trade Commission.

Pennsylvania consumers who feel they have been victimized by the IRS or other scams should file a complaint with the Office of Attorney General's Bureau of Consumer Protection by calling 800-441-2555 or emailing Money in hand or in an emergency fund can save you from going further in debt, Zumwalt says. "There is earned income credit, additional child tax credit, education credit and all of those credits are a delay with the IRS right now and won't be released until February 17th", says Dena Wiberg with H&R Block. If data is taken from the wrong tax preparer, you could pay the price by having your identity stolen. The IRS employees at that line can help - if there really is such an issue.

Keep in mind that you may have to close your bank account if you fall victim to this scam.

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