Beware of scammers looking to steal money during tax season

Officials warn of people claiming they want to help during tax season

DETROIT – The IRS is accepting tax returns right now, but before you do anything, be on the lookout for frauds looking to steal your money.

Scammers want to take advantage of people at this time of the year. The Better Business Bureau, the IRS and police are coming together to talk about a specific type of scam.

The warning centers around people who claim they want to help you this tax season. Fake tax preparers set up shop in Detroit and vanish in late April. They pose as professionals and promise huge returns.

But they’ll take your money and your information. When the IRS realizes your return has been botched, you’ll be on the hook for more money.

Look for a tax preparer who’s available year-round in case you have questions after the season is over. Ask them for their IRS preparer tax identification number, which is required. Scammers don’t have that ID number.

Pick someone who is credentialed, such as CPA. Use the IRS directory and the BBB -- both have tools online to help you find legitimate preparers.

If you feel like you’re being scammed by a fake business or professional, call your local police department. Detroit police Chief James Craig said his department will be ready this tax season.

You can watch Hank Winchester’s full story in the video posted above.

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