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PA Dept of Revenue warns of new "old" tax scam

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Tax day is only a month away and already scam artists are targeting filers. A new “old” scam is rearing its ugly head once again.

“People need to have a little bit of a healthy skepticism and they are contacted by someone who is claiming to be from the IRS or debt collection agent. They need to take a minute and think through this situation and determine if there is something suspicious about it,” said Dan Hassell, Secretary of Pennsylvania Department of Revenue.

Thieves are always looking for the quick buck and tax time is no different. The Pennsylvania Department of Revenue says taxpayers should be aware of people posing as IRS agents, trying to get you to pay them your cold hard cash.

“These scams are always evolving and something that Pennsylvanians need to be aware,” Hassell said.

Here is how the scam works and it’s not new. First, these hackers are targeting tax preparers and stealing your information and filing a fake tax return under your name. Once the fake return is filed, people are receiving the refund in their accounts.

The scammers will either call or email you, threatening that if you don’t return the money to the IRS or a collection agency, you will face prosecution or your social security number will be blacklisted. Instead of returning the cash to the IRS, people are sending it to the scammers.

The Department of Revenue says if it feels wrong, it’s probably a scam.

“Have a little bit of skepticism when they hear from someone that claims to be from the IRS or debt collection agent.,” said Hassell.

The IRS will never contact you by phone. They only use snail mail so don’t give any personal info over the phone. Also, don’t click or use any email links to go directly to a site until you hover over the link and make sure that it’s something recognizable or a complete URL.

There are steps to take if you believe you may be the victim of identity theft, irs.gov.

If there is a problem with a Pennsylvania filing, the PA Department of Revenue has fraud investigators that can take a look. People can contact the Department of Revenue’s Fraud Investigation Unit at 717-772-9297 or RA-RVPITFRAUD@pa.gov.

The unit is dedicated to assisting victims of identity theft and combating tax refund fraud.

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