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Technology It's tax season, which means it's also tax scam season. Here's what you need to know

13:46  06 february  2020
13:46  06 february  2020 Source:   cnet.com

'Nobody wants their name associated with this': Crook uses sheriff's lieutenant's ID to scam victims

  'Nobody wants their name associated with this': Crook uses sheriff's lieutenant's ID to scam victims A man posing as a well-known law enforcement officer scammed a woman out of $1,300, according to Clackamas County Sheriff’s officials. “Nobody wants their name associated with anything like this,” said Clackamas County Sheriff’s Lt. Brian Jensen, whose identity the crook used for the scam. Jensen is a former public information officer whose name and image appear in several news reports. Jensen said on Tuesday, a crook posing as him called a woman and told her there was a warrant out for her arrest.“They said they were Lt.

If it feels like we have far too many scams to worry about and protect ourselves from, you 're correct. From robocalls about free vacations to spam text The 2017 tax season may help reveal the extent of the damage, as identity thieves use stolen Social Security numbers to file fraudulent tax returns and

It ’ s safe to say that most of us dread nothing more than tax time—and there are a lot of con men out there preying on those fears. The IRS wants you to know that unless you ’re conducting business off-highway, that enticing fuel tax credit is probably not for you .

If it feels like we have far too many scams to worry about and protect ourselves from, you're correct. From robocalls about free vacations to spam text messages that lead to unsafe websites, nefarious individuals are constantly trying to trick and manipulate people out of their hard-earned money.

a close up of a man: Tax season brings out plenty of tax scams. CNET© Provided by CNET Tax season brings out plenty of tax scams. CNET

Now with tax season upon us, individuals and groups will once again attempt to defraud taxpayers and the US government out of millions of dollars, using techniques and technologies that range from the old school to the cutting edge. This year is no different, and the IRS has been feverishly issuing warnings about how to spot the red flags and strategies for staying out of scammers' crosshairs.

Phishing scam costs Texas school district $2.3M, FBI investigating

  Phishing scam costs Texas school district $2.3M, FBI investigating A school district in Manor, Texas, was caught in a phishing email scam that cost $2.3 million in losses within two months, officials said. © Austin American-Statesman via AP, FILE A photo shows the exterior of Manor Senior High School in Manor, west of Austin, Texas, March 1, 2018. Investigators with the Manor Police Department and the FBI are following "strong leads" to figure out how a massive amount of money was sucked out of the Manor Independent School District, according to a news release from Friday. The district services over 8,000 students from elementary to high school.

Yes, the U. S . government is still shut down. But no, this doesn’t mean you ’re going to get out of filing your taxes . Tax season is nearly upon us, and this means it may be time to start getting your paperwork together to make sure you can file as effortlessly as possible.Unless you ’re an accountant

Income Tax Return submission dates. Tax Season 2019 started on 1 August 2019 for non-provisional Individuals. To skip the queues and taxpayers were allowed to start filing via eFiling and MobiApp from 1 July 2019. Spare a few minutes to tell us what you think of our website. We value your feedback.

Even if you've been careful with your sensitive data, the negligence of others may have put you in harm's way. For example, in 2017, Equifax, one of the three major credit bureaus, lost control of customer data that included Social Security numbers, home addresses, credit card numbers, drivers' license numbers and birth dates.

a telephone box in front of a door: Tax scams can occur mutiple ways, including over the phone.© Patrick Holland/CNET

Tax scams can occur mutiple ways, including over the phone.

The company estimates that the data of 143 million people -- most in the US -- were exposed. The 2017 tax season may help reveal the extent of the damage, as identity thieves use stolen Social Security numbers to file fraudulent tax returns and receive refunds.

Former S. Jersey man says he will fight federal charges in GoFundMe scam that raised money for homeless vet

  Former S. Jersey man says he will fight federal charges in GoFundMe scam that raised money for homeless vet Mark D’Amico, the former South Jersey man federally charged last week on additional offenses in the GoFundMe scam that raised more than $400,000 purportedly to benefit homeless veteran Johnny Bobbitt Jr. appeared in federal court in Camden again Thursday, to plead not guilty to a host of fraud and money laundering offenses. Before the court hearings, as he and his lawyer, Mark Davis, waited in the third-floor hallway, Davis said “we will fight” the charges and go to trial. “Never plea,” said D’Amico, 40, formerly of Bordentown.

The income- tax filing season opens with free-filing options, concerns about fraud and a new passport rule. Tax filing season opens with old rules for one more year. Here ' s what you need to know . The IRS said it expects to issue the vast majority of refunds within 21 days of receiving a completed

Tax season has arrived with a couple of changes to how things usually work. Here ' s what you need to The tax agency said that it is working both the SAPS as well as the NPA to criminally prosecute Let them take care of everything, while you enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing you ’re

Here's a shortlist of some of the most popular scams making the rounds -- and how to keep both your identity and tax return safe and secure.

a telephone box in front of a door: Tax scams can occur in multiple ways, including over the phone. Patrick Holland/CNET© Provided by CNET Tax scams can occur in multiple ways, including over the phone. Patrick Holland/CNET

The IRS impersonation phone call

How it works: One of the most brazen schemes used every year is scammers calling and claiming to represent the IRS to taxpayers and demand an immediate tax payment. Calling from a phone number that appears to belong to the IRS on your caller ID, they will threaten, badger and intimidate you into making a rash decision. Usually they will often ask for a transfer of funds by gift card or wire transfer. Thieves are increasingly extending this scheme to email and social media channels.

How to protect yourself: Know that the IRS will never phone you or show up at your house to demand an immediate payment -- especially via gift card or wire transfer. Though debt collectors have been known to get pushy, an IRS representative should never berate, abuse or threaten to bring in law or immigration agencies.

There’s a new FedEx text message scam that you need to know about

  There’s a new FedEx text message scam that you need to know about The hard part about avoiding dangerous online and mobile scams is that scammers have become much more sophisticated in recent years. Whether it's a phishing email purporting to be from Apple or a call from someone claiming to be from the IRS, consumers need to remain as vigilant as ever when it comes to identifying seemingly legit messages designed to steal an individual's personal information and cold hard cash. The latest texting scam comes in the form of a text designed to look like a legitimate FedEx tracking notification.

29 date it set this year. The main reason that the agency gave was that it needed to "ensure the security and readiness of key tax processing The IRS pointed out that many tax professionals and software companies will accept tax returns prior to the beginning of tax season and then submit them

It ' s a new year and time to put the last one to bed, which means filing your taxes . The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act, known as the PATH Act, requires the IRS to withhold refunds on tax returns claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit or the Additional Child Tax Credit until mid-February.

If someone claiming to work for the IRS calls you, the IRS says you should write down the number you received the call from, the name of the caller and then hang up. You can then call the IRS directly at 1-800-829-1040 or visit irs.gov/balancedue to view your account.

Report a scam phone call with the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration by calling 1-800-366-4484, or at tigta.gov. You can also call the FTC at 1-877-FTC-HELP or visit ftc.gov/complaint

a sign on the side of a building: The IRS has issued several alerts and warnings about common scams. Mark Wilson© Provided by CNET The IRS has issued several alerts and warnings about common scams. Mark Wilson

The surprise refund bait-and-switch

How it works: In the words of the IRS, this is a "new twist on an old scam." After criminals have secured your sensitive personal information, such as social security numbers and tax forms, they can easily file a fraudulent return on your behalf.

Once the funds hit your bank account, the scammers, impersonating someone from the IRS or a collection agent, will contact you to demand the return of the ill-gotten money -- either by depositing into an account or sending it to an address.

Warwick police see increase in scam attempts

  Warwick police see increase in scam attempts Someone or some people have been posing as a Warwick police officer in an attempt to scam people, the Warwick police said in an advisory Tuesday morning. The intended victims are contacted via telephone, the police said. "The names of specific officers are being used, and the victims are being informed that they have warrants for their arrest," the police said. "During the call, The intended victims are contacted via telephone, the police said.

Tax season 2019 officially started on Monday July 1 for South African taxpayers who use Filing and the SARS MobiApp, the SA Revenue "In a major departure from previous years, to improve service to taxpayers and encourage conversion to online filing, Tax Season 2019 is staggered," it announced.

Do you need to pay income tax on your grad student stipend? Yes, and here ' s why. We get mall Santas at Christmas – why not an Uncle Sam on every corner during tax season ? The Tax Man Cometh. The truth is, graduate students and postdocs who receive paychecks, stipends, fellowships

How to protect yourself: Be on the alert for an unexpected tax bill, refund, or messages from the IRS or your tax preparer about multiple returns filed using your social security number. If you get an erroneous refund -- don't go out and make a major purchase; the IRS will want its money back.

If you suspect you're a victim, file a complaint with the FTC; request that the major credit bureaus put a "fraud alert" on your record, and contact the IRS at 1-800-908-4490.

a close up of a sign: Phishing scams are an easy way to gain information about you, and in turn, gain access to your online accounts or tax information. Cloudmark© Provided by CNET Phishing scams are an easy way to gain information about you, and in turn, gain access to your online accounts or tax information. Cloudmark

Cancel or suspend your Social Security number

How it works: Criminals are making calls and threatening to suspend or cancel your Social Security number (SSN) until your overdue taxes are paid. The scam may seem legit because the caller has some of your personal information, including the last four digits of your SSN. But as the IRS puts it: "Make no mistake… it's a scam."

How to protect yourself: If someone calls and threatens to cancel or suspend your social security number, hang up immediately. If they call back, don't answer. Write down the number and then report the call on this site, and send an email with the subject of "IRS Phone Scam" to phishing@irs.gov and include the phone number, as well as any other details that are relevant, in the body of the email.

Roseville cab driver protects 92-year-old woman from $25,000 scam

  Roseville cab driver protects 92-year-old woman from $25,000 scam A Roseville cab driver helped a 92-year-old woman not get scammed out of thousands of dollars, police said Tuesday. Raj Singh was called to take the woman from her home at the Sun City retirement community to the bank. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); Sign up for our Newsletters“While en route, he started talking with the woman who informed Raj that she owed the IRS $25,000 and she was headed to the bank to get the money and send it off to settle her debt,” Roseville police said in a Facebook post.

It shows the total amount of benefits you received from Social Security in the previous year so you know how much Social Security income to report to the Internal Revenue Service on your tax return. The benefit statement is not available for people who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI), as

It ' s tax season , which means it ' s also " tax scam season ". Old scams are back, and new ones have arrived. It ’ s Tax Scam Season . Do you know what ?phishing? is? It is when an unknown individual tries to The next type of fraudulent email says you need to update your ? tax filing information? or

If you do owe taxes, you can call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 to discuss your payment options. However, your Social Security number will not be canceled or suspended.

a hand holding a cellphone: Fake text messages that include links to unsafe websites are on the rise. Josh Miller/CNET© Provided by CNET Fake text messages that include links to unsafe websites are on the rise. Josh Miller/CNET

Fake texts, emails, or social media messages

How it works: Thieves have had years to refine their email trickery and have recently expanded into text messages and social media messages. Phishing scams have become much more sophisticated, with incredibly authentic-looking messages sent from credible-looking addresses that dupe victims into sharing sensitive information or installing malware.

One particularly bold gambit involves scammers using the IRS name and logo to warn taxpayers about the very scam they're perpetrating, before soliciting sensitive personal information. Note that attackers are increasingly targeting tax professionals in addition to taxpayers.

How to protect yourself: Be wary about any communications you receive over email, text message or social media purporting to be the IRS, a tax professional or any other financial organization. Again, the real IRS will never initiate contact to request personal or financial information.

If you do receive such a message, the IRS asks that you forward it to phishing@irs.gov. Do not reply to the original message.

a screen shot of a computer: Keeping your information secure is a tall task, but one that's incredibly important. Jan Kickinger / EyeEm© Provided by CNET Keeping your information secure is a tall task, but one that's incredibly important. Jan Kickinger / EyeEm

Scammers are constantly trying new things

The IRS has a dedicated Tax Scams webpage where the agency publishes warnings and updates about the current crop of scams that are being used. Additional scams the IRS has issued warnings for include "ghost tax preparers" who charge someone to do their taxes, often based on a large refund amount, and then fail to mail in the tax return -- leaving the customer with an unfiled tax return and no refund.

2 arrested on Long Island after sting into elderly phone scam

  2 arrested on Long Island after sting into elderly phone scam 2 arrested on Long Island after sting into elderly phone scamPolice say the victim lives out of state and received a phone call on February 7, 2020, from a man who said the victim's son was arrested and needed bail money for his release.

New credits, new tax rates — here ' s what you 'll find in your 2018 return. If you just can’t wait to get that big refund, know that the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will start accepting electronic returns on Feb. However, it ’ s the student who needs to claim the tax credit on her or his return, regardless of

Tax season has begun! Here ' s what you need to prepare. " It would be challenging at this point to be able to make some kind of payment and get a benefit in 2017," said Melissa Labant, director of tax policy and advocacy at the American institute of Certified Public Accountants.

There's also a warning for a tax transcript scam that targets businesses with an Emotet malware-infected file attachment.

The biggest takeaway here is this: If the IRS needs something from you, you'll receive a letter in the mail. You won't get an email, phone call or text message. Even still, letters can be faked, so it's best to use only official IRS websites and phone numbers.

In addition to preventing your tax information from being compromised, it's also a good idea to use a password manager, two-factor authentication wherever possible, and learn how to identify robocalls.

Originally published earlier. Updated with new information.

Puerto Rico's government lost $2.6 million to a phishing scam .
An email phishing scam duped the government of Puerto Rico into transferring more than $2.6 million into a fraudulent account, The Associated Press reports. A government agency transferred the funds on January 17th, but the incident was just discovered this week. Puerto Rico is working with the FBI to investigate and recover the funds. Rubén Rivera, finance director of the island's Industrial Development Company, told AP that the agency received an email alleging a change to a bank account tied to remittance payments. In response, the agency transferred the funds to the fake account.

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