JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – In an effort to protect consumers as tax season quickly approaches, Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey warns Missourians to be aware of scammers and to take steps to protect themselves from anyone attempting to get their personal information.
“I want to protect consumers and educate Missourians on potential scams during tax season, which is when scammers often try to take advantage of consumers and can put their identities at risk,” said Attorney General Bailey. “My office will continue to advocate for Missouri consumers and obtain justice for victims of predatory scammers.”
When it comes to personal information, General Bailey warns consumers to be vigilant in protecting their personal information, especially their social security numbers.
Follow these tips when filing your taxes:
Be suspicious of any unexpected communication supposedly from the IRS at the start of tax season.
Don’t fall for phone and phishing email scams supposedly from the IRS. Scammers often pose as the
IRS using a fake scheme or warnings to pay past due taxes. The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email or phone calls to request personal or financial information. Scammers will also send emails that look official by using the IRS logo.
The IRS does not ask for passwords, PINS or confidential information for credit card, bank or other accounts.
File as quickly as possible. Tax identity theft occurs when someone steals your personal information to file a fraudulent return. The earlier you file; it is less likely that someone can use your information.
Use a reputable tax preparer. Before you prepare your tax returns, make sure your preparer has all the credentials needed. You can check this at https://irs.treasury.gov/rpo/rpo.jsf
Make sure you have an understanding of all fees that may be applicable for services to be provided.
Protect your personal information. Keep sensitive information in a secure place and shred any unneeded documents that contain sensitive information, such as your social security number. For those filing online, use a secure internet connection.
Consumers who want to report an IRS scam, please contact the Missouri Attorney General’s Office’s Consumer Protection Hotline at 800-392-8222 or file a complaint at www.ago.mo.gov