IRS warning about rise in scams with tax filing deadline approaching

OHIO — This is the last weekend for people to file their taxes before April 15 and the IRS is warning that scammers are looking to advantage.

News Center 7 Consumer Reporter Xavier Hershovitz has the latest on this scam LIVE on News Center 7′s Daybreak.

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Experts say all the technology being used to file taxes could make it easier for these scammers.

Hershovitz reports that filing electronically is the best way to do your taxes but there are some warnings you should know.

Eva Velasquez is the president and CEO of Identity Theft Resource Center, a non-profit that provides resources to victims of scams.

She says that the IRS is warning taxpayers to watch out for fake letters asking recipients to provide personal information to receive an unclaimed refund.

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Velasquez explains that those letters even have the IRS letterhead to make them look legitimate and scammers are also using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to make their schemes even more convincing.

“When those bad actors borrow the name, the legitimacy of that government agency we tend to trust that and especially when you’re talking about the IRS,” she said.

The IRS says they will never contact anyone by email, text, or social media for a bill or tax refund.

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Hershovitz says that the amount of money that people have lost to tax scams has increased by 14% in the last year, according to the Federal Trade Commission.

At least 2.5 million people have reported being scammed with consumers losing more than $10 billion.

“They’re getting much more sophisticated,” said Velasquez. “People are being lied to and they believe those lies because of the limited experience we have.”

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Hershovitz also reports that if anyone has fallen victim to one of these scams, report it to both law enforcement and the IRS.

The IRS if anyone gets a letter in the mail, they should double-check the phone number and make sure it matches the number on the IRS’ website.

Monday, April 15, is the deadline for people to file their income taxes.

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