|Fraudsters attempt to commit tax refund fraud by filing tax returns under another person’s name and Social Security number. Refunds from these bogus returns are then typically deposited into accounts as ACH credit transactions or as checks to be deposited or cashed.|
In addition, these tax season scams are already being reported by consumers:
• A scare campaign using robocalls claiming that law enforcement is going to suspend or cancel the call recipient’s Social Security number (SSN) in response to taxes owed. This scam often tricks people into calling these numbers back, even though according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), a person’s Social Security number will never get suspended. Plus, the IRS only contacts taxpayers through snail mail or in-person.
• Another tax scam involves emails and impersonators that claim to be from the IRS, either reminding you to file your taxes or offering you information about your refund. These emails involve spoofed websites to collect any information you input, facilitating identity theft. They can also infect your computer with malware, allowing fraudsters to steal more data.
• Since many fraudsters know that the IRS doesn’t ask for money over the phone or email, scammers are sending out letters. This letter claims to be from the Bureau of Tax Enforcement and may mention the IRS, demanding immediate payment. While these letters look legit, the Bureau of Tax Enforcement does not exist.
Here are two helpful tips:
•We encourage members to not call the number on any letter, email, website, etc., as it could connect you to the fraudster. Instead, look up the IRS number online.
•Ensure tax preparers have a valid preparer tax identification number (PTIN). These numbers are issued by the IRS and get updated each year. Members should always be sure the preparer signs the return before submission.
If you experience any of the above situations and feel that your personal information has been compromised, let us know right away. We will be able to secure your accounts and help you decide what next steps to take.