WACO, Texas (KWKT) — Each year, millions of Americans become victims of tax-related identity theft and refund scams. In fact, as of September, more than 12 thousand victims reported losing over $60 million to IRS impersonators.
“There’s going to be folks out there that are trying to take advantage of you,” said Regional Director of BBB Adam Price.
The most common scam is the call from a so-called IRS agent claiming you owe back taxes or there’s a problem with your tax return.
“So you get a phone call, it’s from somebody that’s claiming to be an agent of the IRS and you owe money and you need to pay now,” said Price.
“We got one where if we don’t pay immediately they’re going to send a policeman to pick us up,” said Certified Public Accountant, Sam Griffin.
Griffin has nearly five decades of experience. He’s seen all kinds of scams.
“Sometimes we just tell them they’re crooks and hang up, sometimes we play along you know, ‘oh really, where do I need to send the money to,'” said Griffin.
He says he’s had clients who have received these kind of calls every day for a week, sometimes multiple times a day.
“Sam, do I need to pay this? And I’d say ‘no, it’s a scam, do not pay it,” said Griffin.
It’s important to remember, the IRS does not make calls, if you owe back taxes, you’ll receive a letter in the mail first, not an email.
“If you get something, especially an email from Internal Revenue, do not open it. Delete it immediately,” said Griffin.
Phishing emails are one of the easiest ways scammers can get a hold of your information.
“A secure website would be one that has an “S” after the HTTP,” said Price.
Just because there are websites out there claiming they’ll file your taxes, that doesn’t make them legitimate.
“Be wary of ever going to give personal information out to a website that’s not secure,” said Price.
That’s also good advice for any person or business that offers tax services.
“And again, you want to know for sure who you are dealing with,” added Price.
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