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Scammers Hope to Benefit from Fake Tax Returns

The weakest and most vulnerable people in society are typically the target of crooks and the latest scam isn’t any different. The warning comes from the IRS of a threat against anyone who isn’t required to file a tax return, like the elderly or others who have little or no income.

The scammer takes advantage of the victim’s naiveté by claiming they are owed a special taxpayer refund or government stimulus payment because of the American Opportunity Tax Credit, which is intended to help pay college expenses. Even if the victim has never been to college or hasn’t been a student for decades, the con convinces them that they are eligible to claim the rebate.“This is a disgraceful effort by scam artists to take advantage of people by giving them false hopes of a nonexistent refund,” IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman said in a statement.

Falling for the scam can be costly. Once the victim is convinced of their right to the rebate, the scammer helps them fill out a bogus tax return for an upfront fee. That would be bad enough but once the IRS determines the fraudulent refund, the victim will be charged penalties and interest. The crooks are usually long gone by the time the victim figures out they’ve been scammed. The IRS has identified and prevented thousands of these fraudulent refund claims across the country. If you think you may be a victim of tax fraud, contact theIRS immediately, giving them as much detail as you can.

Taxpayers may seek help for their tax woes by consulting a debt management or credit counseling company. But caution should be taken to avoid the scams of unscrupulous companies offering to help. Companies that guarantee to fix credit ratings and impose high fees or monthly service charges may, in the end, provide little or no helpful counseling. For more information on debt related topics, visit our debt blog at where you can find financial calculators and helpful information on credit card debt consolidation and other debt consolidation services.


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