As tax filing day approaches, so do scams

As tax filing day approaches, so do scams

Overall, the number of identity-theft victims has fallen almost 65 percent between 2015 and 2017.

Asked about their attitudes toward the Internal Revenue Service, 29 percent of the poll respondents said they like their in-laws more than the IRS, 13 percent prefer cold showers, and 9 percent favor a traffic jam.

Nevertheless, identity theft criminals remain active, with the Identity Theft Resource Centre (ITRC) recording 1,579 data breaches in 2017, up 45% from 2016, and Experian reporting that W-2 scams increased by nearly 80% over that period.

The site looks real, and it's set up to collect personal information that can be used to commit fraud, including identity theft.

Choosing e-file and direct deposit for refunds remains the fastest and safest way to file an accurate income tax return and receive a refund.

Now is prime time for tax identity theft, as millions of individuals file their personal tax returns leading up to the April 17 filing deadline.

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If this notice applies to you, there a few things to consider. Any of these scenarios is a strong indication that you may be the victim of tax identity theft.

Contacts their victims, telling them the money was mistakenly deposited into their accounts and asking them to return it. Don't reply to or click on any links in any kinds of messages like this; instead, forward the message to the IRS at so they can investigate it further. 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.

Do not trust the number you see on your caller ID, even if it appears to be coming from the IRS. You'll need to enter your Social Security number, your filing status and the refund amount you put on your return.

"Cyber criminals are always working to develop news schemes that will allow them to profit by stealing sensitive information from hard-working people", Revenue Secretary Dan Hassell said in the press release. Simply contact any one of the three major credit-reporting bureaus (TransUnion, Equifax or Experian) and they will alert the other two bureaus about your fraud alert.

There are some circumstances in which your refund may take longer. "To whatever extent you can, try to file your tax return early", advises McBride.

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.

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