NewsTreasure CoastRegion St Lucie County


Tax preparers should be aware of scams

Posted at 7:04 PM, Jan 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-24 05:47:12-05

Inside the Tax Shoppe in Port St. Lucie, Joe Edge prepares returns for individuals and corporations.  
The other day, he got an email for a clients corporation renewal that got his attention.

“They’re charging you to do something that you can do for free," said Edge.

It looked like something the state of Florida would send, but the email address was a dead giveaway.

“This one has a bunch of upper and lower case letters and numbers, and it’s obviously fraudulent," said Edge.

Edge alerted Port St. Lucie police, where Detective Wade Willnow says it is prime season for tax scammers.

“Some of them will put viruses on your computer if you’re not careful. Some will send you emails that trick you to click on links," said Willnow.

Willnow said the IRS will never notify you of a debt by phone or email. It will be in writing and you can set up an appointment to go over the issue.

“They’re never going to demand payment right away, never by money orders or gift cards or anything like that," added Willnow.

So, what happens if for example you fill out your tax form electronically and it gets kicked back because someone already filed in front of you?  Willnow says follow these five steps.

1)  Contact the IRS Fraud Reporting Hotline at 1-800-908-4490.
2)  Go to IRS website download the Identity Theft Affidavit which is form 14039.
3)  Go to identity to file a report with the Federal Trade Commission.
4)  File a police report. 
5)  Notify three credit reporting agencies for a temporary freeze on your credit report.