As tax season ramps up, experts warn people to be wary of scamme - WDRB 41 Louisville News

As tax season ramps up, experts warn people to be wary of scammers

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Tax time is creeping up, and the 2017 season came with nearly constant news of data breaches and personal information stolen online.

This year, experts say the result of those problems are often seen in fraudulent tax returns. 

Accountant Samantha Howard with Stober's Tax Service said if you find out that someone has fraudulently filed your return, you have to do a paper return and file an Identity Theft Affidavit found on the IRS's website. And how often it all happens, she said, is quite surprising.

But the IRS said there has been a major decline in identity theft victims. In 2017, the IRS received 242,000 reports from taxpayers compared to 401,000 in 2016.

"We are using as many resources as we can to alert taxpayers of these scams and schemes to ask them, for all of us, to use some common sense," said Raphael Tulino with the IRS.

Tulino said two common scams to get personal information happen through phishing emails and phone calls. 

"The IRS, if it needs to contact a taxpayer, it's a letter in the mail, not a random threatening phone call nor an out-of-the-blue email," he said.

While there's no way to completely safeguard yourself from scammers, Howard said to always protect your personal information and even be wary of sites claiming to be secure. 

"I don't suggest you put your social security number online for anything," she said.

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