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BBB Warns of Scammers Targeting Taxpayers

March 23, 2014

According to recent reports, more than 20,000 taxpayers have been the target of phone calls in the “largest ever” phone fraud scam from scammers impersonating IRS agents. This phone scam is just one of the techniques that scammers use to rip-off unsuspecting consumers.

The Better Business Bureau Serving Wisconsin is warning consumers about these and other scams intended to harm innocent taxpayers.

"The BBB is continuing to receive calls from consumers in regard to various scams involving unsolicited calls from individuals who fraudulently claim to represent the IRS,” says Ran Hoth, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau Serving Wisconsin. “At all times, but particularly during tax filing season, we want to make sure taxpayers are aware of these scams so they do not become victims.”

For a list of the IRS’ “dirty dozen” tax scams, click here.

Tips to avoid being scammed:

· Don’t give out your financial information over the phone. The real IRS will not ask for financial information over the phone. Any contact from the IRS will be through direct mail.

· Hang up the phone. If you are being asked for personal or financial information by someone claiming to be an IRS employee, simply hang up.

· If you receive an email, delete it. The IRS will not attempt to contact you through email. If you receive an email from someone claiming to be the IRS, then it is probably a scam. Emails that scammers send may include computer viruses that could harm your computer or access personal information.

· Report the incident. If you are a victim of this scam, report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) at 1-800-366-4484. You should also contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at www.ftc.gov.

For more advice on scams, visit www.bbb.org. Sign up to receive scam alerts or report a scam through BBB Scam Stopper. Follow the BBB on Facebook and Twitter. For an online version of this story go to www.bbb.org/wisconsin

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