Tax scammers are already at work -, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Tax scammers are already at work

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IRS Spokesman Mark Green IRS Spokesman Mark Green

Dougherty County Sheriff's Office Investigators are gearing up to handle what's always a busy scam season.  The IRS warns that scammers are targeting taxpayers on the phone, and your caller ID may even say it's the IRS calling.

The IRS warns that sophisticated phone scams have hit taxpayers in nearly every state.  They call demanding payment immediately for money owed, and they spoof the IRS toll free number, so it shows up on your caller ID.

IRS Spokesman Mark Green said, "They would threaten them.  Either having the local police come out to arrest them or have their drivers license suspended. Or any other recourse they could take in order to scare the victims into getting them to provide their Social Security numbers or checking or saving account information, etc."

Dougherty County Sheriff's Office Investigators say they are gearing up for these crooks to start work. Dougherty County Sheriff's Office Captain Craig Dodd said "This time of year is the biggest time of year for many tax scams to start coming."

Both the IRS and the Dougherty County Sheriff's Office say the number of reported tax scams was higher than ever in 2013, and they are already seeing that 2014 will be another year that taxpayers need to be cautious.  If scammers can get your personal financial information, they will file tax returns in your name, and claim your children as their own dependents. 

Then you find out you have become a victim when you file your own return. Sheriff's Investigators warn the IRS is auditing more returns and checking more closely for phony deductions, and that people should not fall victim to people who say they can get you a larger deduction than you earned.

Dodd said "We used to be a lot more worried about people getting taken.  Now we are starting to also worry about people getting talked into being a part of these tax scams.  As in a voluntary part, where they make money off of it."

Investigators warn that could mean criminal charges against you.  The IRS warns that these recent phone scams are targeting recent immigrants, and urge people never to give out personal or financial information to anyone on the phone or the Internet.   

Tax filing season does not officially begin until January 31st this year but Investigators believe scammers will not wait, and warn that people need to be vigilant and cautious if anyone calls or e-mails claiming to be from the IRS.     

The IRS says their first contact with taxpayers on a tax issue will be by mail.  If you owe taxes and get a call that concerns you, hang up and call the Internal Revenue Service at 800-829-1040.


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