• What To Do When You Are A Victim of a Tax Scam

    July 15, 2021
  • Man in a black suit with a red tie pointing at a tax fraud sign on a blue screen

    Tax scams are a serious issue throughout the United States, and they are constantly being identified and stopped by the IRS every year. However, recognizing a tax scam before it can take place is something tax professionals are desperately trying to educate individuals on in order to protect their identity. Often times it can be difficult to spot a tax scam and when you do, it should be handled appropriately and reported immediately. But how to do that, you ask? We have come up with 4 ways to report a tax scammer once your personal information has been jeopardized. Keep reading below!

    IRS Identity Theft Affidavit

    One of the most common ways for tax scammers to reach you is through text or email. Oftentimes scammers will send out a mass email or text message to random numbers hoping for a response. Many times these messages claim that your online tax account has been hacked and needs to be reset with a new password, or that you have unverified information on your tax form that needs to be given over the phone.

    We know how alarming these messages can seem, and many people think it is a reasonable response to give the information for fear of reprimand. However, even small pieces of information can give scammers the opportunity to file a tax claim in your name. If this happens, immediately complete the IRS Identity Theft Affidavit to have your case inspected by a professional. This will immediately notify the IRS and hopefully revoke the claim before it can affect you in any way.

    Police investigation report folder with a judge gavel and metal framed glasses lying on topFile A Report with the FTC

    The Federal Trade Commission, otherwise known as the FTC, is an independent agency that specializes in a variety of antitrust and consumer protection laws that protects consumers of all kinds from theft, fraud, and other unjust business practices. Visit their website immediately if you have discovered that someone has filed a tax return using your information and fill out their form to have your claim reviewed by a professional.

    File A Police Report

    If you are filing your tax in person with an individual claiming to be a tax professional but refuses to sign your form at the end of their service, we recommend filing a police report immediately. Oftentimes, tax scammers charge cheaper prices for their services and demand them in cash so as not to leave a trail to their illegitimate business. When filing your police report, make sure to include any documents that you believe to be fraudulent to give the IRS ample information relating to your case.

    Woman in a blue shirt holding three credit cards and putting their accounts on hold due to tax fraudFreeze Your Accounts

    If you are a victim of a tax scam, one of the first things we recommend doing is freezing all your bank accounts that could be vulnerable to theft. This will prevent any scammers from gaining access to your open credit funds and keep your personal information protected until the IRS identifies the source of the scam. If you have more questions about identity theft, contact our experts at JLW Tax & Bookkeeping Services in Springfield, Illinois!