For lots of people tax time is a good time to get some money back to start the year fresh. It's important to remember that there are losers out there who have nothing to do but try and scam you out of your refund. It's important to keep an eye out for fraudulent behavior. Take these tips to heart as provided by the IRS to help you see a safe tax return:

  • Don’t respond to phone messages, text messages, social media messages or email from those claiming to be the IRS or demanding payment.
  • The IRS doesn’t initiate contact with taxpayers through those means.
  • If the IRS does need to get in touch with you, it will do by sending out regular mail through the United States Postal Service.
  • It also doesn’t demand payment through debit cards or wire transfers but sends a bill through the mail.
  • If an IRS representative does need to pay a visit, that person will provide two forms of official credentials, a pocket commission and an HSPD-12 card.
  • By law, anyone who is paid to prepare or assist in preparing federal tax returns must sign the return and include a Preparer Tax Identification Number.
  • Ghost preparer who promise bigger refunds don’t sign the return in print or online -- instead, telling the taxpayer to sign it and mail it to the IRS.
  • Ghost preparers might also require payment in cash without providing a receipt, direct refunds into their bank account instead of the taxpayer’s account or claim fake deductions to boost refunds.
  • Scammers often impersonate a company employee and ask for a human resource or payroll staff member to change their direct deposit for payroll purposes. The scammer provides a new bank account and routing number, which can result in the loss of payroll deposits.