Jefferson City, MO (STL.News) – On the last day of National Consumer Protection Week, AG Eric Schmitt is warning Missouri consumers about possible scams that arise during tax season. Scammers and fraudsters take advantage of the confusion that may occur before filing taxes to steal money, identities, or secure information.
“Tax season is stressful enough for Missourians, they shouldn’t have to worry about falling victim to a scam or fraud,” said AG Schmitt. “If you’ve had personal information, money, or other secure data stolen from you by scammers or fraudsters, my office will do everything we can do bring those responsible to justice. Follow the tips listed to avoid scams and fraud, and report any suspicious behavior to our Consumer Protection Hotline.”
The Attorney General’s Office listed the following tips to avoid scams during tax season:
- Be suspicious of any unexpected communication supposedly from the IRS at the start of tax season.
- Don’t fall for phone and phishing email scams supposedly from the IRS. Scammers often pose as the IRS using a fake scheme or warnings to pay past due taxes. The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email or phone calls to request personal or financial information. Scammers will also send emails that look official by using the IRS logo.
- The IRS does not ask for passwords, PINS or confidential information for credit card, bank or other accounts.
- File as quickly as possible. Tax identity theft occurs when someone steals your personal information to file a fraudulent return. The earlier you file; it is less likely that someone can use your information.
- Protect your personal information. Keep sensitive information in a secure place and shred any unneeded documents that contain sensitive information, such as your social security number. For those filing online, use a secure internet connection.
Consumers who believe they’ve fallen victim to an IRS scam or are suspicious of a tax preparer, please contact our Consumer Protection Hotline at (800) 392-8222.