New Tax Changes Bring Old Scam Warning

Con artists are using a new law to trick consumers

Financial experts are spending the New Year trying to understand the new tax law that Congress just passed, but there are some people who might claim they already know all about it.

Don't be too quick to take their advice.

“Any random phone call, something along the lines of, we’re working with the government to help you with tax legislation or reform, just be careful,” said International Revenue Service (IRS) spokesperson Raphael Tulino.

Tulino said scammers pretending to be with the IRS have been trying to trick people out of their money for years. People have reported cases where bogus callers threatened steep fines or even arrest if they don't hand over money or personal information.

Now we've heard that callers are claiming they can help people understand the new tax law changes, and all they have to do is turn over their tax return information and social security number.

But Raphael Tulino warns that’s not how the IRS works.

“No legitimate business or organization is going to solicit over the phone and ask you for that information,” said Tulino.

He said if someone you don’t know calls and asks for a tax return or a copy of your W-2 in exchange for tax help, don’t hand it over.

Consumers may be aware of tax scams from the past but con artists will look for new ways to trick people, this time they are using the confusion around the tax law changes to catch people off guard.

“There are so many variations we’ve seen through the years it doesn’t surprise me that tax reform would be part of a scammers bailiwick to try and lure the people they call,” said Tulino.

So now it’s a new warning on an old scam — if someone wants to help you with the new tax code, it’s best to hang up. Don't listen to their new lies.

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