Tax-filing season raises risk of fraud

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

Tax-filing season is in full swing. Retailers are offering suggestions on how to spend a refund. Relatives are no doubt offering suggestions on where to spend a refund. And many taxpayers likely have big dreams for their refunds. But the rise of refund fraud could dash those dreams, experts warn. “It’s a growing problem,” said Bruce Dorris, vice president and program director for Austin-based Association of Certified Fraud Examiners. He said the IRS reports that, in recent years, millions of taxpayers have been victims of tax-related identify theft and refund fraud. The association has about 75,000 members worldwide to help provide anti-fraud training and education. It has just released five tips aimed at helping prevent identify theft and ensure taxpayers receive the refunds they’re due. First and foremost: “Be skeptical,” Dorris said. Be skeptical of phone calls or emails claiming to be from the Internal Revenue Service, he said, especially if the caller or email claims the recipient owes taxes, must pay immediately and should provide bank account, credit card or other information. “That’s not the way the IRS operates, and no one should provide such information over the phone or by email,” he said. Those cautioning against such scams […]

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