AARP Alabama warns of tax season scams
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Tax season is an enticing time for criminals. AARP Alabama shared scammers may call you pretending to be IRS agents.
“They will spoof your caller ID, so it looks like it’s actually coming from the IRS or from a phone number in Washington, D.C.,” said Jamie Harding with AARP Alabama. “They will claim that you owe back taxes, that you need to pay those taxes immediately.”
They may even threaten to arrest you, but it is a ploy to lure you in and get you to hand over personal information.
“The IRS is never going to make first contact with you over the phone, or a text message, or an email,” Harding said. “They are going to send you a letter through the regular mail.”
If criminals can get ahold of your private information, like your social security number, they may file fraudulent tax returns to steal your money. They could also sell your identity.
“The criminals, in this case, will resell your personal information on something called the dark web, which is where they buy and sell personal information to be used to commit crimes,” Harding said.
One of the best ways to protect yourself is to complete your taxes as soon as possible. Then, you will be less rushed and less likely to fall victim to a scam.
You should never keep your social security card in your wallet, as it can easily be swiped.
If you think you have already been scammed, please contact law enforcement as soon as possible.
You should also reach out to the three credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) to put a fraud alert on your lines of credit.
If you plan to hire someone to do your taxes for you, AARP urges you to get references from people you trust to ensure the person you are dealing with is reputable.
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