The Rise of Identity Theft and Tax Scams - Part One

Top Tax Scams

IRS warns to be vigilant

Each year, the IRS releases their “Dirty Dozen” list of the year’s most prevalent tax scams. Here are a few examples:

•    Identity Theft. These scams are especially prevalent during tax season. During the 2015 tax season, there was a significant rise in the number of identity theft cases. The IRS has taken major strides to protect taxpayers from the threat of identity theft during the upcoming tax season.

•    Telephone Scams. Callers impersonating IRS agents will contact victims and threaten them with police arrest, deport­ation, license revocation and more. Remember, the IRS will never initiate contact with a phone call.

•    Phishing. Phishing scams use unsolicited emails or fake websites made to appear legitimate but are intended to steal your personal information. Remember, the IRS will never send you an unexpected email about a bill or tax refund.

•    Return Preparer Fraud. Dishonest tax return preparers have been known to set up shop and steal personal information from their clients.

•    Inflated Refund Claims. Be cautious of any supposed tax return preparers promising a large refund. Do not use the services of anyone who asks you to sign a blank return, promises a big refund before looking at your tax records or changes fees based on a percentage of the refund.

•    Fake Charities. Groups have been known to masquerade as charitable organizations to attract donations from unsuspecting contributors.

For the entire listing of all 12 scams, visit