It’s tax season once more and between February and April, the tax scammers all come out in force. Lots of these scams are aimed at people like you who have so diligently paid all their tax that they are now owed a rebate. The scams work slightly differently each year but, broadly speaking, it is always the taxpayer who gets done over.
This year, the IRS was almost immediately made aware of a tax scam that was incredibly effective: scammers using real names, social security numbers and details to steal tax rebates owed. As scams go, this one is pretty sophisticated and has been remarkably effective, so much so that it is thought that the scam must originate from tax preparation offices where they have access to all this information.
So What Should I Do About My Tax?
Well, the best advice is that you should just continue to file for your tax as you would before. Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot you can do yourself to prevent being scammed because it is not you being targeting for your information but your tax preparer. The first you will know about being scammed is when your tax appears to have been completed but you know you haven’t done it yet.
However, you should always remain vigilant and never give your details to anyone who asks unless you know that they are trustworthy. Suspicious phone calls, texts and emails are all well-known ways of phishing for information and however tempting it might be, you should never reply to these requests for information.
What Happens If I’m Scammed?
The IRS is aware of the scams that go around each year and it will look into incidents where the right person doesn’t get the right rebate. However, as the IRS is so busy at this time of the year, it can take them several months before they can start the recovery process and get your money back to you.
If you can’t wait this long, it might be worth hiring a professional investigator to look into your situation. They will be able to work with the IRS to speed your case along and hopefully reach a resolution quickly.
A private investigator will be able to dedicate their time solely to your issue until you have a suitable result that you can take back to the IRS and refile your tax return. As private investigators are used to working on cases of fraud (whether it’s insurance fraud or personal injury fraud – you name it, they’ve seen it) they know the little tricks that fraudsters tend to play to make themselves harder to find.
Though there is relatively little that you can do to prevent being scammed, especially with your tax return, what you can do is be vigilant when giving out any personal details and make sure that as soon as you find out that you have been scammed, get a private investigator involved. Time really is money with this kind of case and the sooner you have a resolution, the sooner your tax can be processed properly and you can receive the rebate you are owed.