Tax scammers in full force ahead of federal deadline

By Jill Kuramoto
Published On: Apr 12 2013 03:10:00 PM HST

We're at the height of tax filing season with your federal tax returns due on Monday and it also means tax scammers are out in full force.

HONOLULU -

If you get an email from the Internal Revenue Service that starts out, "Dear Taxpayer," send up a red flag!

"We never solicit information through email," said David Tucker from the IRS.  "If you get an email that seems to be from us, disregard it especially if it's asking for personal information."

And the IRS doesn't text or Facebook you either.

What scammers are doing is called "phishing" and they're using your personal information to try to steal your identity.

Be aware the IRS only contacts you through letters and notices.

Scammers will also tell you they can get you big refunds -- more than you're eligible for.

"And what they do is they try to convince taxpayers to sign up for credits or reductions that they're not qualified for," said Tucker.  "And then they usually charge a fee ahead of time.  By the time that taxpayer realizes they're now in conflict with the IRS, those tax preparers scamming them are long gone."

The IRS says everyone wants instant wealth or extra exemptions.  Scammers know that.  So trust the old saying -- "If it seems to good to be true, it probably is."

"You should be very wary when you see these offers," said Tucker.  "If there's ever an offer of free money from the IRS, I'd be very, very cautious because there's usually no such thing."

Report any schemes through the IRS website.

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