The New York State Division of Consumer Protection is alerting New York taxpayers to be vigilant against scams targeting taxpayers not only during tax season, but also year-round.
While taxpayer scams can take on a variety of forms, the following are examples of scams to look out for:
In most cases, a victim of this scam will be instructed by the caller to promptly submit payment for money owed to the IRS through a pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer. If the victim is hesitant, the scammer may threaten police arrest or license revocation. The scammer may also send bogus IRS e-mails or have others call pretending to be from the DMV or local police. For this scam, the actual phone number of the IRS, DMV and local police may register on the caller ID screen through a technique called “spoofing”. The caller may already know your name and be able to recite the last four digits of your Social Security Number.
The New York State Division of Consumer Protection warns consumers to be wary of phone calls requesting money or personal information. To prevent falling victim to this type of scam, please take note of the following tips:
Scammers may make false claims on others’ tax returns, or even steal their refunds. They will often attempt to take advantage of those who might not otherwise have to file tax returns, such as the elderly or low-income households. Working with a phony or dishonest tax preparer also poses the threat of identity theft.
If you choose to file your tax return using a tax preparer, take precautions to protect your refund and prevent identity theft by keeping the following tips in mind:
To report fraudulent activity by a tax preparer with contact the NYS Tax Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility at (518) 530-HELP (option #2) or file a tax preparer complaint online.
For more information regarding scam prevention and mitigation, please contact the New York Department of State, Division of Consumer Protection at (518)-474-8583.