Tax Tip: Protect Yourself From Identity Theft -

Identify fraud is one of the biggest concerns many people have when it comes to filing their taxes. And for good reason. “Tax refund fraud is one of the biggest businesses in America today,” Kevin McCormally of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine says. He recommends filing early because the longer you wait, the greater the opportunity for crooks to file a fraudulent return on your behalf. That’s not the only thing to watch out for. “There are people pretending to be from the IRS, calling people and really behaving in a way that folks in the IRS don’t behave,” Internal Revenue Service spokesman Eric Smith says. Specifically, Smith says, any caller who asks you to pay by phone using your credit or debit card is the telltale sign of a scam. “We will never call you and demand that you pay your tax debt in a particular way,” Smith says. He adds, “if you owe the IRS money, you generally know.” If you do get scammed, though, don’t call the IRS. Instead, call the office of the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.

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