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Avoiding Scams During This Post-Tax Season

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We know what you’re thinking.

Another stressful tax season has officially come and gone, and you’re either expecting a well-deserved refund or you owe an obligatory amount to the Internal Revenue Service.

Regardless, we understand you’d rather not think about (or, at least read about) anything regarding taxes, tax time, or the financial implications of this taxing period. But, trust us, it’s worth taking a gander at the following, as the end of tax season means the beginning of many a tax scam that might cost you more money (and time) than any IRS tab.

The Internal Revenue Service has now issued a statement warning average Americans just like you about how to spot and solve identity theft issues that stem from your recent tax filing. Here’s a summary of the IRS’s take on what you need to know to avoid identity theft woes in the wake of this tax season.

(1) The IRS will NOT contact you via e-mail.
Unlike retailers, credit cards companies, and even banks, the Internal Revenue Services will not initiate contact with you via electronic mail.  As such, if you do receive any e-mail from an entity claiming to be the IRS, avoid it at all cost. In fact, it’s best to report it as spam and avoid clicking on any links associated with the online mailing before it does cost.

(2) Pay close attention to anything you receive via snail mail.
While it would be easy to simply avoid e-mails from persons claiming to be the IRS, it can be tougher to spot IRS scams that show up in your snail mail. If you receive mail from the IRS via the postal service indicating that their records show you received wages from an employer you don’t know or multiple tax forms were filed under your name, you should suspect you’re the victim of identity theft, and…

(3) If you suspect something suspicious, contact the experts at the IRS
If you’ve received papers from the postal service that have you worried that you’ve been scammed, it’s always best to contact the IRS by responding to the address or number provided on that mailer. From there, you can verify whether it’s just a snafu or actually suspicious activity.

(4) Research Your Credit Report
It goes without saying that the best way to guard from scams is to monitor your credit report. Check out www.AnnualCeditReport.com for one free shot per year to check your score at the three major reporting bureaus.

In the meantime, the Federal Trade Commission, the IRS and other government entities created the online resource OnGuardOnline.gov where you can find information, tools and tips for staying safe during these taxing times. The site includes instructions for dealing with tax and other forms of identity theft; tips for keeping your personal information, accounts and passwords safe when you’re on the go; educational games to help protect yourself as you play; and helpful videos designed to help people stay savvy about cyber safety.

Despite these warnings from the IRS and FTC, we know that people in desperate situations can fall for even the most obvious scams and financial fixes. So it’s important to understand that if you’ve lost major money—whether via a con, the housing market or the stock market—a qualified bankruptcy attorney can be a safe and authentic way for financially-insecure Americans to conquer their fears (an creditors). In fact, the bankruptcy attorneys at the Law Offices of John T. Orcutt offer a totally FREE debt consultation and now, more than ever, it’s time to take them up on their offer. Just call toll free to 1-888-234-4181, or during the off hours, you can make your own appointment right online at www.billsbills.com. Simply click on the yellow “FREE Consultation Now” button.

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