JEFFERSON CITY, MO (KFVS) - Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley reminds Missouri taxpayers to watch out for telephone and email scams this tax season.
In past years, phone scammers have acted as IRS agents trying to steal money.
"During tax season, my Office sees a rise in complaints from consumers regarding phone calls that threaten consumers with arrest and other consequences for allegedly failing to pay a tax bill," Hawley said. "Be alert this tax season."
Attorney General Hawley offers the following tips and reminders to avoid IRS phone scams and tax identity theft.
The IRS will never:
- Call to demand immediate payment using a specific payment method – or ask for cash. Generally, the IRS will mail a bill to any taxpayer who owes taxes.
- Threaten to immediately bring in the police or other law enforcement to have the taxpayer arrested for not paying.
- Demand that the tax be paid without giving taxpayers the opportunity to question or appeal the amount owed.
- Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
Signs that you may be a victim of tax fraud identity theft include receiving a notice or letter stating that more than one tax return was filed using your Social Security number or:
- You owe additional tax
- You have a tax refund offset of which you were not aware;
- The IRS or DOR records indicate that you received wages from an employer unknown to you;
- The IRS or DOR questions your claim information pertaining to your dependents;
- Learning that collection actions were taken against you for a year you did not file a tax return or did not owe money;
- Being unable to process your return when using electronic software.
To avoid becoming a victim of tax identity theft:
- File your taxes as early as you are able.
- Never give out personal information unless you know who specifically is requesting it.
- Protect your personal information by using firewalls and anti-spam and virus protection software, updating passwords on bank and tax preparation accounts, and refusing to share personal information with unsolicited callers or authors of unsolicited emails.
For more information concerning identity theft and tax fraud identity theft visit the Missouri Attorney General's website at www.ago.mo.gov.