Ask Andy: Tax scams

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - If you haven't filed your federal income taxes yet, you've got a little more than two weeks. As that deadline quickly approaches, scam artists are picking up the pace of their dirty work.

They are lurking everywhere, hard at work trying to trick you out of personal information. It's a full time job for scam artists, determined to make your tax season miserable.

"The scammers find so many different ways to scam people so I would urge people just to be very weary," said IRS spokesperson Dee Stepter.

Many scammers attack through the computer, by email.

"You can receive an email scam and it's saying that the IRS has looked at your records and found that you may be entitled to additional refund, but you must complete a form," said Stepter.

Remember the IRS will never send an email asking you to do such a thing in order to get your refund. More than 33,000 scam emails have been reported this year so far.

"Once you file the return we're going to send the refund out to you, you don't have to complete an online form; we're not going to be sending an email saying we've found additional money," she said.

Some scam artists will even pose as an IRS agent over the phone.

"They will call the elderly and threaten the elderly if they do not provide the financial information," said Stepter. "If you're suspicious don't provide any information to that person and then follow up, call the IRS and determine if that person is legitimate."

You can find detailed information on tax-related scams on the IRS website, including what to do if you get a suspicious e-mail, and actual examples of phishing scams.


Copyright 2010 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.