The Scam: As if filing your taxes isn’t arduous enough, some people get an unpleasant surprise when they find out an identity thief has already claimed their refund. In some cases, cybercrooks use stolen personal information to file a fake return, then transfer “your” money onto a prepaid debit card. More rarely, scammers trick you into handing over your information. The Better Business Bureau issued a warning about this practice: Victims would get emails claiming that their tax information was incomplete. The emails would include a link that would take them to a fake IRS site that prompted them to enter their personal information.
Avoid It By: The IRS doesn’t contact taxpayers by email; any such solicitation is a fake. “An IRS notice informing a taxpayer that more than one return was filed in the taxpayer’s name or that the taxpayer received wages from an unknown employer may be the first tip off the individual receives that he or she has been victimized,” the agency’s website says. If you get one, contact them right away.
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