IRS warns people about scams during tax season

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WHNT) — The Internal Revenue Service is warning taxpayers about identity theft during tax time. This crime is one of the year’s “Dirty Dozen” tax scams. In a press release, the IRS said they continue to “aggressively pursue” suspects that file fraudulent returns using another person’s Social Security number.

“We remain dedicated to stopping tax-related identity theft and protecting taxpayers, and we are making important progress on that front,” IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said. “Taxpayers still need to be extremely careful and do everything they can to avoid becoming a victim.”

Each year, “the Dirty Dozen” is compiled by the IRS and lists an assortment of common scams taxpayers may encounter any time during the year. Many of these are seen during filing season as people prepare their tax returns or hire someone to help them. Taxpayers should protect their computers and only give out their Social Security number when necessary.

From 2011 to October 2014, the IRS has stopped 19 million suspicious returns and protected over $63 billion in fraudulent refunds.

Here are some tips the IRS offers to protect people from identity theft:

  • Don’t carry your Social Security card or any documents that include your SSN.
  • Don’t give a business your SSN just because they ask, rather only when it is required.
  • Protect your financial information.
  • Check your credit report every 12 months.
  • Review your Social Security Administration earnings statement annually.
  • Secure personal information in your home.
  • Protect your personal computers by using firewalls and anti-spam/virus software, updating security patches and changing passwords for Internet accounts.
  • Don’t give personal information over the phone, through the mail or the Internet unless you have initiated the contact or you are sure you know who you are dealing with.