Better Business Bureau warns against tax schemes this season
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Tax season is here and experts are warning of an increase in scams targeting taxpayers.
Experts said common schemes this tax season will be texts, email and phone scams. Officials with the Alabama Better Business Bureau said there are ways to make sure you don’t fall for them.
“I mean you pay them to file your taxes and they steal your identity,” Garet Smitherman with the BBB said. “This time of year, we just want to remind people to protect your personally identifiable information. Your name, social, date of birth, these are the things that nowadays, a lot of trouble can come your way.”
Smitherman said identity theft and refund theft are some of the most common schemes this time of year.
“Refunds being funneled into the company’s account instead of into the customers account,” Smitherman said.
He said if you’re hiring someone to do your taxes for you, always try local or double check their track record.
“Make sure if you are hiring a tax preparer person that you are researching who that is,” he said. “If you’re looking at any of these kinds of companies, hopefully we have a record on them. Then, hopefully that record is substantial enough to point you one way or the other.”
If you’re looking to file virtually, Smitherman said make sure they are a IRS partnered website or look for scam clues.
“Start slow,” he said. “What type on information are they asking for, you can get as detailed as the design, and look for grammatical errors.”
Smitherman said not researching how you do your return is just putting your information at risk.
“The volume of these sites that are out there are huge, so if you are not finding and researching brands that you can trust, that is where you are increasing your risk.”
Click here to double check a business with the Alabama Better Business Bureau.
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