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Don't be fooled by scammers this tax season

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We all work hard for our money which is why there’s a warning to keep that money out of the hands of thieves this tax season.

“Fairly recently I received a call from an individual demanding some type of payment from me and if I didn’t follow through they were going to contact the police,” said Brian Krause with Vulnerability Solutions Group.

These days no one is safe from scam artists, not even central Pennsylvania security expert Brian Krause.

It’s a busy time of year for both people filing taxes and criminals working overtime to steal your money and personal information.

A common scam seen by the PA Department of Revenue involves criminals posing as a government agency. That may include the phony “Final Demand For Payment” scam.

Notices in the mail from the so-called “Tax Processing Center” threaten that property will be seized if you don’t pay the state.

Experts say scams use pressure tactics and fear to motivate people into forking over money and personal information. To make their claims appear legitimate criminals sometimes use public records so they can use taxpayer-specific information.

You’re also told to be aware of phishing schemes. That can include fraudulent emails, deceptive software or malicious files designed to steal information like passwords and usernames.

So how can you protect yourself and your money when it comes to emails asking for personal information, as legitimate as they may look?

“These scammers have become more sophisticated over the years... if you suspect that it’s suspicious then delete the email. Don’t click on any links,” said Krause.

Also, do you research. If you come across a company name you don’t recognize do a search to find out if it’s legitimate.

“If it seems too good to be true, I know it’s cliché but if it seems too good to be true it typically is,” said Krause.

If you’re a victim of identity theft or find that a fraudulent Pennsylvania personal income tax return was filed using your identity, the Fraud Detection and Analysis Unit wants to hear from you at 717-772-9297 or RA-RVPITFRAUD@pa.gov

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