“If you think filing your income taxes is frustrating, being scammed in the process is even more of a headache,” reports Giselle Phelps of KDAF-TV, Ch. 33, Dallas – Fort Worth.
“This is the season for people to file their taxes and the scammers know that and they take advantage,” said Jeannette Kopko, spokesperson for BBB serving Dallas and Northeast Texas.
In one scam, phishing emails look like they're from IRS itself. They're used to collect your personal info.
“Besides the phishing emails, scammers might prepare your return for you. You hire them to do it, they steal some personal information and go out and do identity theft, so it might look like you`re getting back a lot of money, but they actually put some in their own pocket,” Ms. Kopko said.
The Better Business Bureau says while filing your taxes is never fun, it's important to protect yourself.
“You might rush through it or not pay attention to who is preparing it for you, but you really need to watch those details,” Ms. Kopko said.
The BBB says never open emails claiming to be from the IRS, and only respond to official communication sent via snail mail. They say, if in doubt, don’t be afraid to call the Internal Revenue Service and verify.
The BBB says if you’re having someone else prepare your taxes, make sure you know who they are, and their qualifications and experience.
The BBB recommends scouting out a tax preparer in the off season, not at this time of year when there are lots of temporary and seasonal shops set up.
To check out businesses, find BBB Accredited Businesses, see tips and alerts, file a customer complaint, or report misleading advertising, start at www.bbb.org.