How to prevent identity theft and scams during tax season - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

How to prevent identity theft and scams during tax season

Posted: Updated:
  • More newsMore>>

  • In international flight, volatile conflicts abound

    In international flight, volatile conflicts abound

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 4:11 AM EDT2014-07-23 08:11:41 GMT
    In Libya, militias armed with shoulder-launched missiles are battling for control of the country's main airport. In Africa, the entire Sahel region is awash with weapons that include portable air defense...More >>
    In Libya, militias armed with shoulder-launched missiles are battling for control of the country's main airport. In Africa, the entire Sahel region is awash with weapons that include portable air defense systems...More >>
  • Bodies of Malaysia jet victims to leave Ukraine

    Bodies of Malaysia jet victims to leave Ukraine

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 3:40 AM EDT2014-07-23 07:40:59 GMT
    Ukraine is preparing a departure ceremony for the bodies of victims of the Malaysia Airlines disaster, which are being flown to the Netherlands.More >>
    Ukraine prepared a departure ceremony for the bodies of Malaysia Airlines passengers and crew who became victims of fighting raging far below them on the plains of eastern Ukraine.More >>
  • Gaza families plead for evacuation amid battle

    Gaza families plead for evacuation amid battle

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 3:26 AM EDT2014-07-23 07:26:44 GMT
    Dozens of Palestinian families trapped by clashes between Hamas militants and Israeli troops are scrambling to flee a southern Gaza Strip neighborhood as Israel reported that two more of its soldiers have died in...More >>
    Dozens of Palestinian families trapped by clashes between Hamas militants and Israeli troops are scrambling to flee a southern Gaza Strip neighborhood as Israel reported that two more of its soldiers have died in the...More >>
COLUMBUS, OH (Toledo News Now) -

In recognition of Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine is warning consumers to protect their personal information and watch for scams. 

"At this time of year, consumers are at a higher risk for tax-related identity theft and scams," DeWine said. "Ohioans can help protect themselves by researching the reputations of tax preparers, using secure websites when filing taxes online, and filing tax returns as soon as possible."

In 2013, the Attorney General's Office received more than 100 complaints involving tax-related identity theft. This type of fraud can occur when an imposter obtains a taxpayer's personal information, files the taxpayer's return, and receives the taxpayer's refund.

Victims of tax-related identity theft should contact the IRS and/or the Ohio Department of Taxation. Identity theft victims also can seek assistance from the Ohio Attorney General's Identity Theft Unit.

In addition to identity theft, consumers should be aware of IRS imposter scams where con artists pretend to represent the IRS and contact consumers, claiming the consumers owe money for taxes. Scammers often contact potential victims via phone and request payment by wire transfer or prepaid money card.

To avoid tax-related identity theft and scams:

-Be skeptical of calls from "IRS representatives" who say there is a problem with your taxes.

-Don't respond to unexpected requests for personal information.

-File your taxes as soon as possible.

-Request that your employer send your W-2 electronically, rather than through the mail. Thieves may steal tax-related documents and personal information from mailboxes.

-Check a tax preparer's credentials. Seek information from the IRS and professional boards or associations. Be skeptical of tax preparers who promise significantly higher refunds than other organizations. Also review complaints on file with the Ohio Attorney General's Office or Better Business Bureau.

-Ask questions and review your tax return thoroughly before signing or filing anything with the IRS. Never sign blank documents. 

Do you believe you have been treated unfairly or suspect a scam? Contact the Ohio Attorney General's Office at 800-282-0515.

Copyright 2014 Toledo News Now. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow