The Ohio attorney general announced this week that there has been an increase in consumer reports of tax scams. There have been nearly 800 reports of tax scams reported to the Ohio Attorney General’s Help Center this year. With the tax-filing deadline only two weeks away, the Attorney General’s Office is ramping up its efforts to warn consumers of potential tax scams.
In this post, we’ll go over a few very important tips that you should know to avoid falling for such a scam.
- Don’t trust threats or demands
One of the most common tax scams involves the caller pretending to be from the IRS, demanding payment and threatening jail time if they do not receive the money immediately. Often, they instruct the victim to send money via gift card or money order, since these methods are much harder for authorities to track. If you receive a call like this, don’t believe it: The IRS will never threaten to arrest you for not sending money, and will never demand money over the phone.
- Ignore robocalls
Robocalls are when a scammer makes illegal calls and leaves a recorded message of a live person. These calls are understandably obnoxious, but it is better not to respond to them. Answering the call or calling the number back could prompt even more robocalls. The IRS will never use a robocall to contact you.
- If you are scammed, get help
Sometimes, the victims of tax scams choose not to report the crime because they feel embarrassed to have been tricked. But if you are ever the victim of a tax scam, you may have options to recoup your lost money and bring justice to the scammers. Law enforcement officers, tax attorneys and consumer protection advocates all work to help the victims of tax scams. Reporting the crime and pursuing legal action is sometimes the only way to stop scammers in their tracks.