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  • Geebo 8:00 am on March 31, 2021 Permalink | Reply
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    College students targeted in tax scam 

    College students targeted in tax scam

    By Greg Collier

    With it being tax season, tax scams are on the rise. We’re not talking about the kind of tax scam where federal agents show up at your door because you claimed the squirrels in your yard as dependents. We’re talking about the kind where is either trying to separate you from your refund, or using the promise of a refund to steal your information. The latest targets in this kind of tax scam are college students.

    The IRS is warning people that anyone with an email address ending in .edu is vulnerable to this scam. The scam is essentially a phishing attack. The student receives an email that appears to be from the IRS asking the recipient to click on a link that’s labeled either “Tax Refund Payment” or “Recalculation of your tax refund payment.” If the victim clicks on the link they’re taken to a website that asks for personal information like name, date of birth and Social Security number.

    Theoretically, college students are a prime target for identity thieves. At that age they may have established any serious credit yet which is the holy grail for identity thieves. Identity thieves could use a young victim’s credit for years before the victim ever realizes it.

    There’s been this stereotype that’s been going around forever that young people are better with technology than their parents. While that may be true, they may also be unsure of how filing their income taxes and receiving a refund works. So, they might think that this phishing email is a legitimate way of claiming their income tax refund. We realize that our readers tend to be from a different demographic than college students, but we also realize that you may have a college student in your family. If you do, you may want to warn them about this potential scam.

     
  • Geebo 9:00 am on February 11, 2021 Permalink | Reply
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    Tax scam season is starting 

    It seems like it wasn’t that long ago that we were all filing our taxes for 2019. Due to the pandemic, the IRS gave us all a generous extension to file our income taxes. This year, we’re not so lucky. The deadline for filing your taxes this year is the traditional April 15th. So, with tax season also comes a number of tax scams which are made even more difficult to avoid due to 2020s unprecedented circumstances.

    The best tip we can give to avoid being scammed is to file your taxes as soon as possible. Last year, scammers were known to file for false returns using stolen identities. If you wait too long you could receive a notification from the IRS that someone has already filed a return using your Social Security number.

    Also, if you’re not going to do your own taxes, and you’re looking to use the services of a tax professional, research the person or company first. Dome fraudsters will set up shop looking like a legitimate tax preparer only to steal your identity and your refund while charging you to do it. Try to avoid any service that’s promising you a ‘too good to be true’ return.

    Tax season is also when scammers will attempt IRS impersonation scams. The scammers will call their victims posing as the IRS and demanding payment for any number of reasons. The one thing all these impersonators have in common is that they will try to pressure you into making a payment over the phone. The IRS does not call taxpayers about tax issues. If the IRS has a concern that they need you to resolve, they will always contact you through the regular mail.

    If you suspect one or more of these scams you can call the IRS directly at 800-829-1040.

     
  • Geebo 9:00 am on November 17, 2020 Permalink | Reply
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    Elderly man loses over half a million dollars in scam 

    Elderly man loses over half of a million dollars in scam

    Imagine working hard your whole life to be able to retire with a substantial amount of money. Then imagine losing over $500,000 of that retirement money to scammers. This recently happened to an 82-year-old man from Sioux Falls, South Dakota when he fell victim to an impersonation scam.

    The man received a call from someone claiming to be from the IRS. The caller claimed that a car in the man’s name was found to have drugs in it.

    This is a common tactic used in a number of scams. Often, the victim will be told that a rental car in their name was found in Texas near the Mexican border with drugs in it. Often the scammers will say that the victim’s Social Security number and benefits will be suspended if they don’t pay to clear things up which is what the phony IRS agent told the man.

    This was followed up by similar calls from scammers posing as both the FBI and the DEA. The man ended up making payments to the scammers through money transfers and gift cards. Before it was all over, the man had ended up paying $550,000 to the scammers. While it’s not mentioned in the report, we have to wonder how much of his life savings did that entail? For most people, they would have been cleaned out much earlier in the scam.

    However, a few lessons can be learned from this man’s experience. The first is that agencies like the IRS, FBI, and DEA will not call you about such matters. The IRS would contact you by mail but a situation like this is out of their jurisdiction. While it is in the jurisdiction of the FBI and DEA, they would more than likely send an agent or two to your home to discuss such matters.

    Speaking of government agencies, none of them would ever ask for payment over the phone and if they did, they wouldn’t ask for payment in such unorthodox means like money transfers or gift cards.

    If you receive a phone call like this, it’s best to hang up and call your local police department at their non-emergency number. They’ll be able to tell you if the call is a scam.

    If you ever fall for one of these scams, it signifies to scammers that you could potentially fall for other scams as well. Scammers ceaselessly preyed upon this poor man until he was out of over half a million dollars.

     
  • Geebo 8:06 am on May 26, 2020 Permalink | Reply
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    There is no 2nd stimulus payment 

    There is no 2nd stimulus payment

    With life in the United States currently adapting to the everyday changes brought on by the global pandemic, scammers and con artists have been adapting as well. With every change, they continue to tweak and transform their scams into whatever can best serve them now while disregarding the untold victims they leave in their wake.

    By most reports, the majority of those who were eligible to receive the economic impact payments have received them. That doesn’t mean that there still aren’t those who could use additional stimulus benefits. There has been talk among lawmakers to issue additional payments, but as of the time of this posting (5/26/2020) no additional stimulus payments have been approved by the government.

    That hasn’t stopped scammers from trying to fool their victims into believing that a second stimulus payment is on its way. The reason the scammers are doing this is so they can pull the same scams they tried when the initial stimulus payment was being issued.

    A report from the Georgia Attorney General’s Office is warning residents about one such scam where the scammers are posing as IRS employees. They’re saying they can provide additional funds as long as the consumer installs a certain software on their device. The victims are then asked for a $1,000 gift card to pay for the software.

    So in this particular scam, the scammers are double-dipping their victims. Not only are the scammers trying to steal consumers’ money by asking for payment by gift card but they’re also installing software on consumers’ devices. This software can be anything from malware designed to steal your security credentials or ransomware that can lock you out of your device.

    If the IRS needed to contact you for any reason, they will contact you by postal mail. They will not contact you unwarranted by phone, text, or email.

     
    • Robert Jamison 2:31 pm on May 27, 2020 Permalink

      I’m on SSI and I haven’t received my stimulus check or has been direct deposited into my account and the IRS has all my info on my direct deposit but I got the nice letter from the POS Trump be nice to get the stimulus first before you get the letter

  • Geebo 8:00 am on April 20, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , IRS,   

    What’s keeping your stimulus check? 

    What's keeping your stimulus check?

    We’ve been trying to keep our readers informed about the economic impact payments that most taxpayers are set to receive. However, one of the questions we keep receiving is “Why haven’t I received my payment yet?” While we can’t tell everyone what’s going on with each individual payment, we can at least try to tell our readers the most common reasons why payments have not been received yet.

    The most common reason is that the IRS hasn’t issued the payment yet. Due to the massive scope of this undertaking, some payments may not be released for months. If you go to the IRS’s Get My Payment tool and you receive the ‘payment status not available’ message, that could mean a few things. It could be because you entered your information incorrectly. Be careful when entering your information to make sure you haven’t made a typo. If you’ve filed your 2019 taxes but they haven’t been processed by the IRS yet, that could also hold up your stimulus payment. Your payment could also be delayed if your bank is having to deal with additional demands due to the stimulus payments.

    However, what you may not know is that if you filed your taxes through a professional service like H&R Block, your payment may be sent by mail. If you used a service that allowed you to get an advance on your tax refund, there’s a good chance that the IRS does not have your banking information on file. Those services often use debit cards that are attached to temporary bank accounts. If the temporary account is closed the payment will be rejected and then you’ll have to wait for a paper check.

    Please keep in mind that not everyone is going to get their stimulus payment right away and you should plan your current finances accordingly.

    (H/T CNet)

     
    • Bonnie Cantley Williams 9:39 am on April 24, 2020 Permalink

      ON SOCIAL SECURITY .NOT REQUIRED TO PAY TAXES.WHEN WILL I GET MY STIMULUS CHECK?

    • Pamela J Martinez 9:12 pm on April 25, 2020 Permalink

      I wanted to enter my payment information for direct deposit for my stimulus money. Filed 2019 tax return, no refund, no money owed. Cannot hit submit because I did not mark refund or money owed. What can I do?

    • Geebo 11:53 am on April 26, 2020 Permalink

      While we, unfortunately, don’t have the answer for every situation from what we understand, people on disability will receive their stimulus payment the same way they receive their disability payments.

      This is according to the AARP.

      The automatic payments will be issued no later than early May in the same manner SSI recipients normally receive benefits: by direct deposit, paper check or Direct Express debit card.

      https://www.aarp.org/retirement/social-security/info-2020/ssi-eligibility-stimulus-checks.html

    • Geebo 11:55 am on April 26, 2020 Permalink

      From what we understand, when submitting your banking info you can select one of those options and input $0.00 as the amount.

    • Juanita May 9:09 pm on April 26, 2020 Permalink

      I am on SSDI And SSI.when will I Receive my Stimulus check.

    • Geebo 8:23 am on April 27, 2020 Permalink

      From what we understand, payments should start to go out this week.

    • Rahmere Cannady 1:59 pm on April 30, 2020 Permalink

      I filed 2018 and didn’t get my federal tax return or no 2020 stiumlus

    • Geebo 2:43 pm on April 30, 2020 Permalink

      According to reports, payments are still in the process of being issued.

  • Geebo 9:00 am on February 6, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , IRS, , , ,   

    Identity thieves could steal your tax refund 

    Identity thieves could steal your tax refund

    We’ve discussed IRS scams in the past but those scams usually involve someone posing as an IRS agent demanding money from their victims. Now, with it being tax season, there is a whole different scam to be on the lookout for and that’s the tax identity theft scam. In this scam, identity thieves get a hold of your Social Security number and try to steal your tax return using your personal information. With the advent of electronic filing and direct payments, it’s easier than ever for someone to file a phony tax return before the victim even knows about it.

    One of the main ways that identity thieves steal your personal information during tax season is posing as tax preparers. If you’re going to have your taxes prepared professionally stick with the more reputable and well-known firms. If you’re going to use a local tax preparer for the first time, do your research on their reputation and performance. A number of fly by night operations seem to pop up out of nowhere during tax season. If they’re offering their service at below-market costs this could be an indicator that they’re not on the up and up.

    The best way to avoid this scam is to file your return as early as possible. Basically, you want to try and get your return in before any potential identity thieves do. If you’re filing by mail you should take your return directly to your local post office and not risk leaving it to sit in a mailbox. And definitely don’t leave it in your own mailbox for the postal carrier to pick it up. It could be easily stolen from your mailbox that way.

    If you receive a letter from the IRS stating that a duplicate return has been received get in touch with them right away as that means that someone did, in fact, file a return in your name.

     
  • Geebo 9:00 am on November 11, 2019 Permalink | Reply
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    Scams that veterans should be aware of 

    Scams that veterans should be aware of

    With today being Veterans Day it only seems fitting that we should look out for those who have given so much for our country. It seems that veterans are often targeted in government impostor scams. Since veterans often have to deal with several government agencies about benefits and services hearing from the government may not seem that out of the ordinary. Scammers will try to take advantage of the frequency that veterans deal with the government in hopes that the victim of their scam will believe that they are calling from the government. However, most of the scams they try to commit are also some of the same scams civilians have to deal with.

    The most common scam reported by veterans is the IRS impersonation scam. This is where scammers will pose as IRS agents and try to persuade their victims into believing that they owe back taxes. The scammers will try to pressure their victims into making a payment as soon as possible either through wire transfer or gift cards. The next common scam for veterans is the grant scam where the victim will receive a message on social media from a friend’s compromised account telling the victim they can get federal grant money. The scammers will then say that in order to get the grant the victim will need to pay a processing fee which will disappear as soon as it’s paid. And lastly, scammers will pose as being from the VA in order to try to get medical and healthcare information from the victim.

    As with most government scams, the ways of prevention remain the same. If the government really needs to get a hold of you they will more than likely contact you by mail. The government will also never ask for payment over the phone through wire transfer or gift cards. Those are tools of choice used in most scams today. And as always, if you receive one of these calls and you may believe that there is an issue with one of these agencies, hang up and call the agency back at their proper phone number.

     
  • Geebo 10:59 am on February 13, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: court fines, , IRS, ,   

    Don’t pay your fines through Facebook 

    Don't pay your fines through Facebook

    Recently in Detroit, a new twist on an old scam has reared its ugly head. People posing as city employees are sending messages to people on Facebook telling victims that they owe court costs to the city. Instead of mailing a check to city hall the victims are informed to wire the money in order to receive a discount on their alleged fine. As is usual with the wire scam, when you wire money to someone you don’t know they make off with your money and you have little to no recourse to get your money back, and you’ll still owe your fine if you own one. Unless it’s too a friend or relative that has approached you personally, never wire money for any kind of transaction. It’s too easy to be ripped off.

    This is reminiscent of the IRS scam where people posing as the IRS will call you demanding payment over the phone claiming that you owe back taxes. The IRS has repeatedly told the public that they do not contact taxpayers by phone.

    So please keep in mind that municipal or government agencies will not contact you through social media since social media accounts could actually belong to anybody and not necessarily the person they would try to reach. If you receive any kind of correspondence from a government agency that you believe may be a scam, look up the number for that agency and give them a call.

     
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