Simple tips for protecting yourself from tax scams

Local News

ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — Tax scams have been the number one scam in the nation for the past three years according to the Better Business Bureau. The most common tax scam involves people posing as the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

The scammers will either call or text you, claiming you owe back taxes and threatening you with arrest or fines if you don’t comply

Another example is when scammers claim they are issuing tax refunds and ask you for personal information so they can allegedly send your refund.

If you have already paid the scammers via wire transfer or a gift card, the BBB says it will be hard to get that money back.

However, experts suggest contacting the IRS immediately at (800) 908-4490. You should also file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) by clicking here or calling 1-877-FTC-HELP.

Here are some tips to avoid tax scams in the first place:

  • Protect your Social Security Number year-round.
  • File your taxes as early as possible.
  • Watch out for red flags. For example, the IRS does not initiate contact with people via email, text message, or social media to request personal or financial information.
  • Research your tax preparer.
  • Use secure internet connection filing electronically.
  • Mail directly from the post office.
  • If you are a victim of ID theft, request a VA Tax PIN from the IRS.
  • Check your credit report at least once a year for free.

The BBB says one way to keep yourself safe from tax scams is to file with a trustworthy tax preparation services. You have until April 15 to make sure all your taxes are complete and filed.

For more information on the various types of tax scams, check out the BBB’s website.

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