FBI Oregon's Tech Tuesday: Thwarting tax refund fraud

17700 Alabamians owed $18 million by IRS: Are you on the list?

And you'll be paying interest on the money you owe. You'll have to get approval - the IRS says a taxpayer's specific circumstances will determine what plan options are available.

Don't hire a tax preparer who asks you to sign a blank return, the state Tax Department warned. And just as important, understand what left them with a deficit this year - and what to do to ensure that next year, they can pay their full tax bill on time. The IRS reports that incidents of identity theft declined by 40 percent in 2017 versus the year earlier and 65 percent since 2015, thanks in part to increased awareness and diligence on the part of taxpayers.

To collect the money, taxpayers must file their 2014 tax returns with the IRS no later than this year's tax deadline, Tuesday, April 17.

For those people who failed to file their return for 2014, this is the last filing season you can still do so and get your refund if one is owed. The message threatened the victim with criminal fraud charges, an arrest warrant and a "blacklisting" of the victim's social security number. The recording gave the taxpayer a case number and a telephone number to call to return the refund.

Both of those cons have increased dramatically this tax year.

Twenty-nine percent of people reported that they like their in-laws more than the IRS according to a new study by Wallethub.

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Scammers are stealing client information from tax preparers and filing phony returns, according to an IRS press release. Taxpayers are advised to inquire of their tax preparers regarding enhanced security precautions to minimize the risk of data loss. In general we are more aware, but now there are many more potential victims in the pool.

The taxpayer who received the erroneous refund gets an automated call with a recorded voice saying the caller is from the IRS.

Victims are told they owe money to the IRS and must pay right away to avoid arrest, deportation or suspension of a business or driver's license. In many cases, the callers have altered their caller ID display to convince the target that the IRS is indeed calling.

Be on guard against those and other potential scams.

The Revenue Department and IRS will never call demanding immediate payment of past-due taxes. The callers may spoof the phone number to make the caller ID appear to be from a real IRS office, and the fraudsters often approach the victims in their native language if they have limited English proficiency.

If you believe you have been targeted by a tax scammer, contact the Treasury Inspector General at 800-366-4484.

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