Rockford BBB: Tax Time Is Bringing Tax Scams To The Rockford Area
Of course it is. Because simply organizing, filling out, and filing your taxes isn't a big enough pain in the butt, we have tax scammers who are looking to tap into your funds and personal information.
I thought that perhaps the best way to avoid tax scams would be to just not pay your taxes, but the station's legal department suggested that might cause you a problem.
You know how lawyers can be.
There Are A Variety Of Scams That Surface Each Year At Tax Time, So Let's Cover The Most Successful Ones
Just in case you haven't given it any thought whatsoever, this year's tax filing deadline falls on April 18th, which of course, is a Monday (anything to make us hate Mondays even more).
So what happens when you keep putting off getting something done that has a deadline? You find yourself under more and more pressure and stress, and that's exactly what tax scammers are looking for in a potential scam victim.
Director of the Rockford Regional Office of the Better Business Bureau (BBB) Dennis Horton:
Tax scammers are online and in-person. No matter how you get your taxes done, scammers are waiting in the wings.
The Rockford BBB Says That These Are The Scams To Watch Out For Most
Tax Identity Theft Scams: Tax identity theft occurs when a scammer uses your Social Security number to file a tax return in your name and collect your refund. Scammers steal tax information in several ways, such as a phishing scam, a phony tax preparation service, or a hack/data breach.
Email Phishing Scams: The emails appear to be from the IRS and include a link to a bogus website intended to mirror the official IRS website. These fraudulent emails direct you to “update your IRS e-file immediately.” The emails sometimes mention USA.gov and IRSgov (without a dot between “IRS” and “gov”). Don’t get scammed. These emails are not from the IRS.
IRS Impersonation Scams: IRS Impersonation Scams most often start with a phone call and take two basic forms. In the first version, the IRS “agent” says you owe back taxes and pressures you into paying by prepaid debit card or wire transfer. The scammer threatens you with arrest and fines if you don’t comply. In the other version, scammers claim they are issuing tax refunds and ask you for personal information so they can send you your refund.
Ghost Tax Preparers: “Black market” tax preparers set up shop around tax time, usually in a vacant storefront. They will often promise tax filers fast or large refunds. These “ghost tax preparers” are uncertified individuals who bypass checks and balances in the tax preparer certification system. Even more disturbing, the big refunds they promote are not calculated in legal ways.