IRS warning taxpayers of 'Dirty Dozen' tax scams

Justin Udo
March 11, 2019 - 1:26 pm
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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — With about one more month left before tax day, officials are warning Pennsylvanians about some of the worst scams they should be aware of. They're calling them the Dirty Dozen, 12 of the most common methods used to rip off taxpayers.

Taxpayers scam
Justin Udo/KYW Newsradio
"The end goal is the same for these con artists," says Richard Furlong with the IRS. "It's stealing personal information."

Furlong says updated phishing schemes, attempts to get sensitive information out of people by posing as a trustworthy person sending a an emails or text messages, or initiating contact through social media, are some of the most popular scams

READ: Scammers preying on Delaware County parishioners with gift-card scheme

He adds people should also be wary of phony messages making a "final demand for payment," and bogus property-seizure notices. 

"Please remember that the IRS will never call to demand immediate payment using a specific payment method such as the pre-paid debit cards, gift cards, or wire transfers," he said.

Furlong adds taxpayers you keep a close eye on whoever is preparing their taxes.

He says dishonest tax preparers are known to steal identities, commit fraud, and use a number of other scams.

"In some cases, they direct the refund into their own bank account, rather than the taxpayer's account," he said. "We urge all tax payers to review their tax returns carefully before signing, and then ask your preparer if something is not clear on the return presented to you."

The Pennsylvania Department of Revenue has a Fraud Detection and Analysis Unit to assist taxpayers that may be victims of identity theft.