Now that tax season is upon us, people must be especially diligent to protect themselves against the influx of IRS-type scams.
New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas has issued a Scam Alert recently about a scam phone call threatening an IRS criminal lawsuit.
New Mexico State University College of Business tax expert Roy Clemons wants taxpayers to be aware of the top five schemes that occur during filing season.
“People conducting schemes, scams and identity theft are out there trying to get people’s private information and money,” said Clemons, assistant professor in the Accounting and Information Systems Department.
“Phishing schemes often involve fake emails and websites that trick taxpayers into submitting their private information, such as Social Security numbers, credit card information, etc.,” he said.
“Do not click on any link in such emails. Contact the purported agency directly instead to determine if the request is legitimate.”
“Be aware of any calls from individuals claiming to work for the IRS,” Clemons said. “Ask the individual for a call back number; the IRS generally contacts taxpayers by mail.”
To learn more about the scam reported by Attorney General Balderas visit http://www.nmag.gov/press- releases.aspx to view the press release describing the scam.
“Tax-related identity theft remains a top concern,” he said. “Be careful about sharing your filing information with individuals.”
Return Preparer Fraud
“Be careful to avoid suspect tax return preparers,” Clemons said. “Be on the lookout for preparers who promise overly large refunds.”
“Rip-off artists often establish fake charities to steal money and/or personal information from taxpayers,” he said. “Before donating, taxpayers should check the IRS Exempt Organization website at irs.gov/charities-non-profits/ exempt-organizations-select- check to assure they are donating to a legitimate charity.”
If a taxpayer has been approached by any of these attempted schemes, they should report it to the Office of the Attorney General by calling toll-free 1-844-255-9210.