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IRS Issues New Warning Ahead of Tax Deadline – You Could Lose Your Tax Refund

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The Federal Revenue Service warns People that tax frauds increase in frequency in the weeks preceding the tax filing deadline.

According to a statement on the IRS website, one scam to avoid is one in which a con artist tries to convince a taxpayer that he or she has the competence required to set up an online account at IRS.gov.

“This is just a scam to obtain valuable and sensitive tax information that scammers will use to try stealing a refund,” IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel said.

“An Online Account at IRS.gov can help taxpayers view important details about their tax situation. But scammers are trying to convince people they need help setting up an account. In reality, no help is needed,” Werfel said.

“People should be wary and avoid sharing sensitive personal data over the phone, email or social media to avoid getting caught up in these scams,” he said.

According to the Internal Revenue Service, con artists want personal information such as a Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification number and a form of picture identification. This data can be sold or used to submit taxes or start credit accounts.

As tax season’s crunch time approaches, the IRS has now provided tips for preventing email and text message scams that steal personal information. The IRS issued a warning about phishing and smishing schemes.

Phishing occurs when an email is received from a fraudulent organization posing as the IRS or another official agency. Either the promise of a refund or the fear of tax fraud charges is used to entice recipients to click on the provided link.

Smishing is essentially the same thing except it relies on messages to a phone that use language such as “Your account has now been put on hold,” or “Unusual Activity Report.”

Also, the IRS warns that some third parties incorrectly inform Consumers that they can claim a gasoline credit reserved for off-road enterprises and farmers.

“In this scam, a third party convinces a taxpayer to fraudulently claim the credit with promises of a windfall refund. But the promoters are focused on their own gain, taking advantage of the taxpayer with inflated fees, refund fraud and identity theft,” the IRS said.

The Washington Examiner identified a fraud in which Facebook users are encouraged to click on an advertisement to learn about a purported health credit. Nevertheless, such a thing does not exist.

Another fraud with Optima Tax Relief was reported.

“COVID-19 stimulus checks have stopped being sent out, but scammers are still sending malicious text messages, phone calls, and emails to request bank account information. They lead you to believe you will receive a new stimulus check, when really they are stealing your personal and financial information,” the site warned.

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