Federal Trade Commission Warns of New IRS Scams During Peak Tax Season

Federal Trade Commission Warns of New IRS Scams During Peak Tax Season

Instead of routing the fraudulent tax refunds to a separate account, the suspects instead direct the funds to the victim's real bank accounts through direct deposit, the IRS says.

For more information, check out our imposters' webpage.

Taxpayers receiving erroneous refunds also should contact their tax preparers immediately. The criminals asked taxpayers to forward the money to the collection agency. In this scheme, identity thieves enter stolen personal information (primarily Social Security numbers) on fraudulent tax returns that claim tax refunds.

According to the IRS, Americans left $1.1 billion in unclaimed federal income tax refunds in 2014.

Here's how this scam works: You go online to find a tax preparation service to prepare and e-file your tax return.

According to the IRS, the new scam begins with cyber criminals stealing client data from tax professionals, then using that stolen data to file fraudulent tax returns in the victims' names.

Read any IRS notices you might receive very carefully.

The Revenue Department and IRS will never call demanding immediate payment of past-due taxes. The thieves then contact you, often by phone, and - posing as the IRS or debt collectors for the IRS - demand you return the money to the IRS. "And there's no penalty for filing a late return if you're due a refund".

Do not trust the number you see on your caller ID, even if it appears to be coming from the IRS.

Take additional steps to limit the potential damage of identity theft.

Another tax scam to watch for involves phony calls from the IRS targeting vulnerable populations - particularly new immigrants.

Also put a fraud alert on your credit reports so that businesses must contact you to verify your identity before issuing credit in your name. It might take you a while to process the changes in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, as well as the new Congressional budget agreement, but try not to delay filing your tax return for too long.

His message comes in the wake of calls and complaints his office has received from residents regarding telephone solicitation for funds, stating that they owed a large sum of money in taxes, and, that the Monmouth County Sheriff's Office was going to arrest them if they didn't pay the money.

Filing a past return could also be lucrative.

Get your Refund Fast and File your Taxes for Free.

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