Kentucky AG Andy Beshear: Tax return time is peak season for scammers
Beshear said tax season scams typically involve scammers pretending to be an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) agent who claims they need to verify the victim’s personal and financial information over the phone or claims that the victim owes back taxes.
“Tax season last year was the busiest time for staff in my office who handle scam reports, and this year I want to ensure Kentuckians are prepared for the barrage of scam calls that may not slow down until April,” said Beshear.
Once the scammer has the victim’s information, they can steal tax returns and other funds by changing the deposit to a reloadable money card.
“It is not only IRS scams that increase during tax season, but con artists also try to take advantage of Kentuckians’ interactions with other local, state and federal agencies,” said Beshear.
Beshear said his office recently worked with a Clark County resident who sent $9,900 to an IRS scammer in the form of Google Play cards.
Threats of arrest coerced the victim to follow the demands of the caller.
The victim is now working with Beshear’s office and has signed-up for Scam Alerts to avoid future victimization.
Beshear’s office recommends following these tips to avoid falling victim to scammers:
- Never share any personal or financial information over the phone.
- Know that the IRS, and other local, state and federal agencies, will never call and request money over the phone, or ask you to send money via wire transfer, cash or gift cards.
- If you receive a call from someone pretending to be with a local, state or federal agency, hang-up and independently verify the correct number and dial it.
If you believe you have been a victim of a tax return theft, Kentuckians can contact the IRS directly at 800-908-4490 and the Kentucky Department of Revenue at 502-564-4581.
The filing deadline for individual income tax returns is Monday, April 15, 2019.
Beshear continues to work with state and federal partners to find innovative ways to stop scam calls – one of the critical missions of the Office of the Attorney General.
To report a scam to the Office of Attorney General, call the Consumer Protection Hotline at 888-432-9257 or visit ag.ky.gov to fill out a complaint online.
To sign up to receive Scam Alerts from Beshear’s office text the words KYOAG Scam to GOV311 (468311) or enroll online HERE.