Tax season scams: Beware of fraudulent tax preparers

MISSISSIPPI (WCBI) – It’s tax season, and most people want to get a bigger return, but pay a smaller fee to have their taxes filed.

And that leads many people to trust the wrong people to take care of their tax returns.

From the unqualified to the criminal, your preparer’s actions could end up costing you money.

Cybercriminals love tax season. They can use your information to steal your money and identity.

The owner of M&M Tax Services Brenda Martin said you should not be so quick to give your information out online.

“Go to real tax companies, a lot of people will lure you in and tell you that they can get you a ton of money when they actually cannot get you that kind of money. Unless you are putting down stuff that is not legitimate, and the IRS is checking down on people like that,” said Martin.

Monroe County Sheriff Kevin Crook said people should always be alert to people who may be posing as tax professionals.

“The main way that they can avoid it, is by keeping their information close to them. Another way is to confirm who they are talking to, if someone calls or sends something by email, don’t respond to things in that way that is asking for your information,” said Crook.

Both Martin and Crook said if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

“If you made like $5,000 and you are getting $10,000 back, that is a scam because you will never ever make more than you put in,” said Martin.

Crook said his department is always willing to help those who believe they are being scammed.

“Contact law enforcement, and we will verify for them. If they can’t verify the source of who they are in contact with, we will verify it for them. A lot of times we will find out that that person is not even from the United States, or anywhere near around here,” said Crook.

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