Police department warns about scams during tax season

Police department warns about scams during tax season
(Source: Ugochi Illoka/WBRC)

CULLMAN, AL (WBRC) - Tax season is in full swing and the Cullman Police Department wants to warn you about scams they are currently dealing with.

Sergeant Adam Clark says now that it is tax season they are seeing a lot of social security scams. He says people are calling saying they are from the IRS and you owe them money.

Clark wants you to remember the IRS is never going to do that.

"First of all, if it is too good to be true, it is," says Clark. "You don't have to give something to get something. If a company claims to be giving you a grant you don't have to send them money in order to get the grant. Grants are usually given to you from s federal agency or a private corporation for free. You don't have to send them money to get money."

Clark says they are also seeing scams that target mainly women.

"A majority of women, but it does happen to men as well, fall in love with someone on the internet," says Clark. "They are promising to come over and see them, send them checks, send cash. The checks that they are sending them, they are asking them to cash them and send off the money and keep a little bit of it. The checks are coming back fraudulent which sticks the person who cashed it with owing the bill to the bank. And it is also defrauding some of these banks as well."

A good rule of thumb is to never send money or cash checks for someone you do not know.

Clark also says they are seeing current trends where the scams come from the prison systems. He says just recently somebody was claiming to work for Jefferson County telling people they had missed jury and now owe the county money.

"People are sending money to them and well it all originated out of a prison in Georgia," says Clark. "This is inmates doing this and until we kind of get everything under wraps, people are going to keep trying to do this. Everybody just has to be aware and research stuff."

Clark wants everyone to remember, "If you didn't get a jury duty form then you haven't missed jury duty. If you didn't apply for a grant then you didn't win a grant. It is just simple stuff like that."

For tips on how to recognize and avoid tax schemes, click here.

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