|Police: beware of tax time scams|
|Written by Submitted|
|Friday, February 01, 2013 7:18 PM|
Tax time is generally a stressful time for a lot of people as they work out all the calculations in order to determine how much tax they will have to pay or how much they will get back.
It is also the prime time for scam artists to perpetrate a fraud on the unsuspecting by pretending to be the IRS or a computer service like Window or Dell, warns the Lawrenceburg Police Department.
The scam usually starts with a phone call, letter or email stating that there is money to be claimed by the victim, from the IRS and that all that is required is for the victim to provide certain information so that their file can be “updated” and the money released. The scammer asks for the information to be faxed or emailed to them and provides a fax number or email, said police.
The phone call or letter looks official enough, and may even sound reasonable. It's intent, however is not. Be careful when taking phone calls from scammers. Do not give any personal information nor allow the scammers to walk you through a computer setup, said police.
Once the scammers get access to a computer they can intercept tax refunds or other information. Contact the IRS directly to check on the status of a refund, or the tax agency that prepared your taxes. Do not allow anyone that sends you emails or calls you to check on your taxes or allow them access to a bank account, added police.
A couple more general warnings good for any time or year:
Guard your personal information. Don't provide credit card or bank account numbers unless paying for something. Social Security numbers should not be necessary unless applying for credit. Be especially suspicious of someone claiming to be from a company with whom you have an account and they are asking for information the company should already have.
Beware of dangerous downloads. Programs to see pictures, hear music or play games could be hiding a virus that wipes our computer files or connects the computer to a foreign site address/telephone number. Only download from sites you know and trust, and be sure to read user agreements.
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