Consumer Alert: Avoid Tax-Related Scams this Tax Season

Feb 6 • 464 Views • View Comments

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Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam encourages Floridians to be wary of tax-related scams during this tax season. According to the Internal Revenue Service, common scams include: tax preparer phishing scams, IRS-impersonator phone scams and e-mail phishing scams. Last year, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services received 31 tax-related complaints, with 17 specific to IRS scams.

“Tax season gives scam artists the perfect opportunity to steal consumers’ identities and hard-earned money,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam. “Floridians should be vigilant this tax season and protect their personal information.”

Consumers should be aware of the following information in order to protect themselves from scams:

  • The IRS contacts taxpayers by mail in most cases and will never ask for a credit card, prepaid debit card, money order or wire transfer immediately over the phone.
  • Never give out personal information over the phone, such as Social Security numbers, bank account numbers or credit/debit card numbers without verifying the source. To ensure the source is legitimate, hang up and call the entity using its official number.
  • Floridians who are unsure about their tax situation can reach the IRS at 1-800-829-1040.

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is the state’s clearinghouse for consumer complaints, protection and information. The call center is staffed with trained analysts who can respond to questions about programs and regulations under the department’s purview, provide information on a wide variety of topics or direct callers to the appropriate government agency.

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