Missouri Attorney General warns of scams during tax season

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Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey is warning Missourians to be aware of scammers and to take steps to protect themselves from anyone attempting to get their personal information.

“This is about protecting Missourians from potential scams during tax season, which is when scammers often take advantage of consumers and put their identities at risk,” said Attorney General Bailey. “The Attorney General’s Office works tirelessly to go after those who take advantage of consumers, and I want all Missourians to know that we are a resource if they need assistance.”

When it comes to personal information, General Bailey warned 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 credentials at this link. 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.

“My message to Missourians during this tax season is to stay vigilant. If the worst happens to you, we’re here to help,” said Attorney General Bailey. “If any consumer believes they’ve been the victim of a scam, we encourage them to contact our consumer hotline at 800-392-8222 or online at this link on the Missouri Attorney General’s website.”

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