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February 15, 2012 06:30 AM

Tax Scams Surfacing


It seems to happen every year around the same time: emails that appear to be from the IRS, wanting information.  It turns out, they are actually scams and emails you want to avoid at all costs.


For some, taxes can be a time of stress.  And the last thing most people want to do is to get caught in a scam just weeks before taxes are due.

"Scammers have used the IRS in the past.  They have used credit card companies, banks and even the BBB to try to get a person's personal information or to put malware or viruses on their computer," Jim David of the Better Business Bureau said.

These days, scams come in the form of emails.

Accountants and The Better Business Bureau both want to make it clear that the IRS would never contact you through email.

"So, always beware it's easy to create an email address with IRS in it or Government or Department of Treasury.  So, always be leery of an email that pretends to be something it's not," David said.

The goal of phishers is to catch you off guard and get your personal information. To help keep your information protected, the IRS has a suggestion.

"One of the things the IRS has always recommended is looking for a designated person that is an attorney, CPA, or an enrolled agent, like myself.  They always recommend that those people are the most well-trained in tax law and ethics," Ness Tax and Bookkeeping Service owner Timothy Ness said.

Ness' theory is by paying to have someone help with your taxes, they could be cheaper in the long run.

"I think the additional cost might be justified in getting things right the first time," Ness said.

To report a phishing scam, click here to email the IRS.
  • Business
  • General
  • Sioux Falls, SD
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