Be on the lookout for tax refund scams

When you file your taxes this year, be sure to be on the lookout for tax refund scams. Refund scams are when someone else has already filed a tax return under your identity so they can collect your refund before you do. Unfortunately, tax refund scams are on the rise because all scammers need to file on your behalf are your name, Social Security number and date of birth.

Scammers may obtain this information through phishing emails (emails that look legitimate, but in fact are designed to steal your personal information), phone calls or social media communication where they impersonate an agent from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Some of the signs of tax refund scams are when you go to file your tax return and it won’t go through or you expect a refund but it doesn’t arrive. You may also receive a letter from the IRS explaining that multiple returns were submitted in your name.

The best way to avoid these types of scams is to file your taxes as soon as possible. It is also crucial to protect your personal information.

Luckily the IRS is doing everything they can to eliminate fraud and they also do not hold the taxpayer liable for the missing refund. They will eventually send you the money you are owed. For more information on filing your taxes and avoiding tax fraud, visit the Internal Revenue Service’s website at irs.gov.