Avoiding Tax Scams

Today is tax day, April 15th, the day on which you either have to file your return or an extension.

While you take care of your obligations to Uncle Sam, there are those looking to take advantage of you.

The IRS issued a strong warning for consumers to be aware of aggressive scamming.

Local CPA Chris Porter said a lot of times scammers use emails to get to you.

They usually look authentic with the IRS as the "sender" and ask for personal information.

"They would say you have large balanced owed so we need your bank account number in order to take that out, or I've seen e-mails where they say you have a large refund due to you so please send your bank account numbers," said Porter.

He siad those e-mails are most often scams.

Porter said the IRS will never ask for personal information via e-mail or over the phone.

This year the IRS is seeing a lot of phone call scams.

The Richland Police Department said they had several calls about individuals receiving calls allegedly from the IRS.

Porter admits this is not uncommon.

"A scammer can falsify the called ID so it can say that it is the IRS. They could have some of your personal information like the last four digits of your social security number and it still might be a scammer," said Porter.

Scams are avoidable.

Porter's best advice is to call the IRS and double check.

"If you think something is legitimate you can call the IRS. If you get an email, phone call or letter you can give the IRS a call." He said, "the number is on their website, and simply ask them was this communication from you."

The numer for the IRS tax line for individuals is (800) 829-1040.