Tax Refund Thefts On The Rise

Tax Refund Thefts On The Rise

Scammers are always trying to find ways to steal your money


WASHINGTON, March 18, 2013 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC
PR WIRE/ — You’re not the only one waiting for your tax refund. Scammers are
looking for it too. In fact, every year there are more and more scams designed
to steal tax refunds.


The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) says these
kinds of thefts have increased substantially in the last few years. Between 2010
and 2012, the number of investigations opened by the IRS grew from 224 to 898,
according to the latest figures:


Find out more about tax refund scams, how to
protect yourself from identity theft and what to do if you are a victim.


It All Starts with Identity Theft


Tax refund thefts usually begin when someone
steals your personal information, such as your Social Security number. This is
called identity theft.


To get your information, scammers use a technique
called phishing, where a scammer tries to fool you into revealing your
personal data.


This is how it works:


  • They send you fake e-mail
    messages or websites pretending to be someone they’re not, such as the IRS
    or the Social Security Administration.

  • They ask you to provide
    your personal or financial information such as your Social Security number
    or your credit card numbers.


Once they have the information they need, they
file your taxes in your name and wait until they get your refund.


How to Protect Yourself


This is what you can do to protect yourself from
this scam:


  • The IRS does not initiate
    contact via e-mail with issues regarding your tax return.

  • Be careful with websites
    that pretend to be the IRS. The official IRS website is

  • If somebody calls you and
    says they are an employee of the IRS, take down their employee
    identification number and call 1-800-829-1040 to make sure the call is

  • Do not provide your Social
    Security number or other personal information to anybody you consider


What to Do If You Are a Victim


Many taxpayers find out they are victims of tax
refund scams when they get a letter from the IRS saying their taxes have been
filed twice. If you get such a letter, contact the IRS immediately to try to
correct the situation.


You can find out the status of your tax return by
visiting the official IRS website. You will be asked to provide personal
information such as your Social Security number and the amount of your expected
tax return.


If you would like assistance or would like to
report identity theft, contact the IRS (
) or call 1-800-908-4490. and are the U.S.
Government’s official web portals in English and Spanish, and part of the U.S.
General Services Administration (GSA).




Tax Refund Thefts On The Rise