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Tax season brings forth new wave of scams targeting tax payers

Posted: 2:57 PM, Feb 02, 2018
Updated: 2018-02-02 21:47:37Z

Every single year millions of dollars and thousands of identities are stolen by thieves targeting taxpayers.

News 5 got in touch with the FTC and the IRS today to make sure you protect yourself and your return. 

The scams take many forms. Some of them come from fake robo calls, others from emails or even letters claiming that account information needs to be verified before you can file your taxes.

Unfortunately, as scams become more common, the people behind them are responding by using new scams that are more complex. 

This time of year W-2 identity theft scams are common. 

Hackers use convincing emails to get copies of someone's tax forms and all it takes is one person to fall for it.

Last year a similar scam hit the city of Twinsburg, exposing as many as 500 city workers. 

News 5 was told the same type of scam is back in circulation this year.

"The IRS will not call you out of the blue," said Federal Trade Commission attorney Fil de Banate. "The scammers tell you that you have to pay now or you will get sued, you will get arrested, deported or lost your drivers license, the IRS will never do that."

A good tip? "Monitor your credit reports. With taxes, it ties into your reports," he said, adding that it's best to file your W2 immediately before someone else can in your name. 

According to the IRS, victims of tax identity theft across the country dropped more than 40 percent last year, as they've stepped up their protections. 

There are more tips from them here:  https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/tax-scams-consumer-alerts

And tips from the FTC here:  https://www.identitytheft.gov/