Profitt Report: The IRS is warning taxpayers to be careful of these scams
The IRS warns us every year of scammers posing as tax agents. These scammers will call, email or even visit your home, demanding money or personal information, which they can use to steal your identity and wreck your finances.
Luis Garcia, spokesperson with the IRS office in Detroit, said a true tax agent will never threaten you.
“If you have a real IRS agent threatening you, well they're in big trouble and they're probably going to lose their job,” he said.
He said if you do receive a phone call, e-mail or visit from an agent, you can ask for their agent ID, call the IRS and verify that they are who they claim they are.
However, they’re seeing a new twist on the tax time scam this year, with potential for more victims.
“Criminals have figured out it's much tougher to get your personal information individually,” Garcia said, “now they're just trying to hit the jackpot by hitting tax professionals who have outdated software.”
Or, perhaps the tax professional is so overwhelmed, they have a lapse in judgement and click something online, which infects their computer with a virus. Either way, once the thieves have your personal data, they can do what they want with it.
Garcia said this is one possibility: they might start a chain reaction.
“The latest scam is a real doozy. People are using the information they steal from tax professionals and then depositing money into people’s accounts,” Garcia said.
Then, he said the thief comes back, posing as a collection agent and pulls the money out of your account. It’s confusing and sophisticated, but Garcia said there are steps you can take.
“Be aware when you're choosing a tax professional, you're also choosing the software and security in place. Make sure they have the most up to date security on their computer systems,” he said.
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