CONSUMER ALERT: Tips to Avoid Tax Scams and Identity Theft as Filing Deadline Approaches

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identity thieves and scammers will be ramping up efforts to steal taxpayers returns

Attorney General Ashley Moody is issuing a Consumer Alert ahead of the federal tax filing deadline to help Floridians avoid common tax scams. (Florida Office of Attorney General Ashley Moody image)

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Attorney General Ashley Moody is issuing a Consumer Alert ahead of the federal tax filing deadline to help Floridians avoid common tax scams.

From now through the April 15 filing deadline, identity thieves and scammers will be ramping up efforts to steal taxpayers returns and sensitive identification information.

Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “Tax season is a busy time for identity thieves and scammers as they look for ways to steal returns and the identities of taxpayers.

When filing, Floridians should take precautions to protect their identities and sensitive tax-filing information to avoid falling victim to these fraudsters, and if anyone encounters a scam they should immediately report it to our office.”

The following are tips to help taxpayers avoid identity theft and scams when preparing and filing taxes:

  • Get recommendations and research a tax preparer thoroughly before providing personal information;
  • Use a secure internet connection when filing electronically. Do not use unsecured, publicly available Wi-Fi hotspots;
  • Mail tax returns directly from the post office, not from home;
  • After filing, shred any unneeded tax receipts or filing documents before disposal;
  • Know that the IRS will never initiate contact by email, phone, text or social media. If the IRS needs information, it will first contact by mail;
  • Do not give out Social Security numbers unless absolutely necessary; and
  • If a Social Security number is compromised contact the IRS ID Theft Protection Specialized Unit at 1(800) 908-4490

If anyone believes they are a victim of a tax scam, identity theft or any other fraud, they can report the incident to the Florida Attorney General’s Office by calling 1(866) 9NO-SCAM or visiting MyFloridaLegal.com

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