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Beware of new scams against taxpayers

For some people, this week’s snow storm will be a unique opportunity to hunker down and complete their federal income tax returns. For some people, it may take only an hour or two. For others, it may be a project that takes the entire week and then some.

Regardless of how long it takes to enter numbers and check all available exemptions and credits, one thing is certain. Scammers will be out plotting against unsuspecting taxpayers to steal their identities and eventually their federal income tax returns.

Indeed, there are the “traditional” telephone scams where a caller (usually in a computerized voice) explains that the IRS has filed a lawsuit against a taxpayer, or that the IRS has important information that must be disclosed, and that the taxpayer needs to call a specific number in order to address the “charges” against them.

However, there is a new scam that taxpayers should be aware of.  The latest involves a call where the taxpayer may hear someone asking very faintly if they can be heard. When the taxpayer answers “yes” they could be at risk because the vocal affirmation could be recorded and used for other purposes without the taxpayer’s knowledge; such as providing authorizations on phony credit card applications or cell phone contracts.

Taxpayers should know that the IRS will not contact you directly by telephone. Their correspondence is in writing only. So if you receive a telephone call ostensibly from the IRS, chances are it is a scam to steal your identity and take your money.

The preceding is not legal advice.

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