BBB talks identity theft prevention, tax scams

BBB talks identity theft prevention, tax scams

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — Yes, Tax Day is quickly approaching…again. The last day to file your taxes for the 2022 season is Tuesday, April 18. With tax season comes scammers seeking money and your personal information to use in fraudulent ways.

Scammers are always looking for ways to receive and use your money and personal information for their benefit. 2 NEWS is learning from the experts on how you are able to lower your chances of becoming a victim in a scam and tell those you know to make them aware and protect them too.

John North is the President and CEO of Dayton’s Better Business Bureau (BBB) and provides tips on making yourself aware of the scams happening around tax season. Some of the most common scams that North says occurs around tax season that the BBB sees is based off of a telephone call.

On the call, the scammer will tell you that either you owe back taxes from a previous tax year or are owed money from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

The caller will identify themselves as a representative from the IRS and wants you to provide a debit card number or go to the store and purchase a prepaid gift card. During the call, the fraudulent caller may threaten you with arrest if you do not comply with them on the phone. It is possible that the caller could ask you for your confidential information, like your banking details, which you should not tell.

North says Internal Revenue will never call you and contact you the “old-fashioned” way in the beginning by sending you a letter in the mail to get ahold of you to inform you what they want to tell you.

“Know that the IRS again, does it the old-fashioned way at first,” North said. “They will reach out to you by mail letting you know what it is that they need from you.”

An alternate method of being at-risk for scam methods are clicking on links and accessing websites that look like the IRS, but those turn out to be fraudulent. It may look like it is a real page associated with the actual government organization, but is likely in fact a phony website trying to get your information.

Tax Identity Theft Scam

People trying to file their taxes should do so now than procrastinating until the deadline, because North says scammers can get your information and use it against you, leaving you unable to properly file and having someone else have your confidential tax information.

“Scammers will get ahold of that tax information and they will apply in your name first.”

One of the red flags that is common is you, the tax filer, could receive information in the mail about a job you did not apply for. If you receive any letters that don’t look proper talking about an unfamiliar job, you are urged to look into it immediately.

Scam Recognition Tips

If you believe you are a victim of a scam or have been in contact with a scammer, North recommends you contact the IRS directly.

Residents that end up losing money are asked to call their local authorities to file a police report and having a record of it on file. Following contacting the IRS or authorities, you are also able to report the incident to Scam Tracker.

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