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To Catch a Tax Thief
 

To Catch a Tax Thief

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    To Catch a Tax Thief To Catch a Tax Thief Presentation Transcript

    • To Catch a Tax Thief
    • Tax Fraud Season Taxpayers can encounter scams at any point in the year, but many schemes peak during filing season as people prepare their returns.February 27, 2012 © 2003-2011 Identity Theft 911, LLC. All Rights Reserved - Confidential 2
    • IRS Warning “Taxpayers should be careful and avoid falling into a trap. Scam artists will tempt people • in person • online, and • by email with misleading promises about lost refunds and free money. Don’t be fooled.” — IRS Commissioner Doug ShulmanFebruary 27, 2012 © 2003-2011 Identity Theft 911, LLC. All Rights Reserved - Confidential 3
    • Protect Yourself Learn about the most common schemes and how to spot them so you don’t become a victim. Here are four scams and telltale signs you’ve been targeted by an identity thief.February 27, 2012 © 2003-2011 Identity Theft 911, LLC. All Rights Reserved - Confidential 4
    • 1. Tax Return Fraud What is it? Thieves use a legitimate taxpayer’s identity and personal information to file a tax return and claim a fraudulent refund. In 2011, the IRS protected more than $1.4 billion of taxpayer funds from getting into the wrong hands due to identity theft.February 27, 2012 © 2003-2011 Identity Theft 911, LLC. All Rights Reserved - Confidential 5
    • Tip-off you’ve been targeted: If you receive an IRS notice saying that more than one tax return was filed in your name or that you received wages from an unknown employer.February 27, 2012 © 2003-2011 Identity Theft 911, LLC. All Rights Reserved - Confidential 6
    • 2. Phishing Scammers send fake emails that appear to come from legitimate sources and trick taxpayers into providing personal and financial information. Emails sometimes send users to fake websites as part of the scheme. Scammers often bait victims with promises of a tax refund or requests for updated information (such as a new W-2 form).February 27, 2012 © 2003-2011 Identity Theft 911, LLC. All Rights Reserved - Confidential 7
    • Tip-off you’ve been targeted: The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email to request personal or financial information. Unsolicited email from the IRS or a closely linked organization, such as the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System, is likely to be fake.February 27, 2012 © 2003-2011 Identity Theft 911, LLC. All Rights Reserved - Confidential 8
    • 3. Return Preparer Fraud Most people who prepare returns provide honest service, but there are some who prey on unsuspecting consumers. Such individuals might skim off a person’s refunds or charge extra, unnecessary fees.February 27, 2012 © 2003-2011 Identity Theft 911, LLC. All Rights Reserved - Confidential 9
    • Tip-off you’ve been targeted: If the return preparer • Does not sign your return or place a Preparer Tax Identification Number on it. • Does not give you a copy of your tax return. • Promises larger than normal tax refunds, or charges a percentage of the refund amount as a preparation fee. • Adds forms to the return that you have never filed before. • Encourages you to put false information on your return.February 27, 2012 © 2003-2011 Identity Theft 911, LLC. All Rights Reserved - Confidential 10
    • 4. “Free Money” Scammers lure people with advertisements for free money from the IRS, suggesting taxpayers can file returns with little or no documentation. They go on to charge good money for bad advice; by the time claims are rejected, the scammers are gone. Scammers also lure victims with promises of nonexistent Social Security refunds or rebates.February 27, 2012 © 2003-2011 Identity Theft 911, LLC. All Rights Reserved - Confidential 11
    • Fake fliers of this nature have been appearing in community churches, and the schemes often spread further by word of mouth. Low-income individuals and the elderly are particularly vulnerable. Be vigilant, and use common sense. If a promise seems too good to be true, it probably is.February 27, 2012 © 2003-2011 Identity Theft 911, LLC. All Rights Reserved - Confidential 12
    • Remember: The best offense is a good defense. Learn how to protect your personal information. Learn how to recognize scams. If you encounter any suspicious activity, report it to the proper authorities.February 27, 2012 © 2003-2011 Identity Theft 911, LLC. All Rights Reserved - Confidential 13
    • If you suspect your identity has been stolen, call your insurer or bank, which might provide LifeStages™ Identity Management Services from Identity Theft 911. Or contact us directly. One of our fraud investigators will provide practical support until your credit record is restored, and help you pursue criminal and civil legal action against the identity thief.February 27, 2012 © 2003-2011 Identity Theft 911, LLC. All Rights Reserved - Confidential 14