Scammers target unsuspecting victims as tax scam season ramps up

Expect increase in scam calls from fake IRS workers

Fraudsters are ramping up their tax scam plans to steal from unsuspecting victims.

DETROIT – Fraudsters are ramping up their tax scam plans to steal from unsuspecting victims.

In the next few months, expect an increase in scam calls from people pretending to be from the IRS.

Leon LaBrecque is a director with the Michigan Association of CPAs, and he’s seen it all -- scams, phishing emails and more. He said criminals will send an email pretending to be from the IRS and asking someone to update account information.

Not only are they hoping to obtain your financial information, but the link will have malware on it, compromising the computer. If a scammer steals your social security number, they’ll look to cash in quickly.

They’ll look to file taxes with your number and collect money for themselves. The IRS only allows for one tax return per social security number, so if a scammer beats you to it, you’re out of luck.

How do you protect yourself? File early.

Lastly, if a large refund check from the IRS unexpectedly shows up in your mailbox or gets deposited into your bank account, don’t even think about cashing in on it. Remember -- that’s not your money.

Tax lawyer Kelly Phillips-Erb said that’s a sign of the latest tax scam. Remember, if something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.

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

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About the Authors:

Hank Winchester is Local 4’s Consumer Investigative Reporter and the head of WDIV’s “Help Me Hank” Consumer Unit. Hank works to solve consumer complaints, reveal important recalls and track down thieves who have ripped off people in our community.

Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.