BBB Warns about Top Tax Refund Scams

Posted on March 18, 2022

BBB Warns about Top Tax Refund Scams

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) has issued a warning about the top tax refund scams taxpayers will come across in 2013. I.D. Phishing is the most common method of stealing sensitive information from taxpayers in order to file fraudulent tax returns to claim huge refunds.

Scammers rely on the gullibility of taxpayers to get their tax information. The BBB issues warning to taxpayers regarding the possibility having their social security number stolen.

The BBB explains, “Scammers use stolen social security numbers and other personal information to file for tax returns for unsuspecting victims.

This scam is more prevalent than ever. Last year, the IRS saw an 80% increase from 2011 in the number of victims. And they are expecting the scam to be just as prevalent in 2013.Victims frequently don’t even know that a return was filed for them until they receive an IRS notice in the mail about it.”

Submitting a correct social security number is essential for filing tax returns. Scammers use a taxpayer’s social security number to claim huge refunds, with taxpayers unaware of the scam until the IRS denies their tax return. Therefore, it is important for taxpayers to keep their social security numbers secure, especially during tax season.

Phishing is the easiest way to steal tax identities. Fake emails using the IRS name are most common during tax season. The IRS’ Where’s My Refund? website is duplicated by scammers to steal social security numbers and tax filing status of taxpayers. Many of the IRS’ tools are being used by scammers to trick taxpayers into sharing their tax information. The BBB shares how scammers use emails, text messages, and phone calls posing as the IRS to access sensitive taxpayer information:

Most frequently, scammers will tell consumers that they are entitled to a tax refund, but they must first reveal personal information to claim it. Sharing this information puts you at risk for identity theft, including scams like the one above.

Unfortunately, these phishing scams aren’t just limited to tax season. They continue to crop up throughout the year. Just remember the IRS will only contact you through the mail.”

Tax season is the time when scammers become most active, whether fake emails, phone calls, text messages, fraudulent tax preparers, or scam tax companies, it is during tax season that these scammers hope to make quick money by filing false tax returns with stolen identities.

For taxpayers, keeping their tax information safe, filing tax returns early, and staying informed about their filing status can help dealing with tax scammers effectively.