The IRS might have a refund check for you

17700 Alabamians owed $18 million by IRS: Are you on the list?

After you have talked to the IRS and worked with them to clear up any issues with your tax return and refund, file an identity theft complaint with the FTC and a police report with your local police department. It starts when cyber criminals steal client data from tax professionals.

Now is prime time for tax identity theft, as millions of individuals file their personal tax returns leading up to the April 17 filing deadline.

The person then uses threatening phone calls to trick taxpayers into "returning" the refunds, and unsuspecting victims have, in some cases, forwarded that money to them.

Contacts their victims, telling them the money was mistakenly deposited into their accounts and asking them to return it.

"You can't necessarily monitor tax ID fraud, because of the fact that so much of our information is out there", says Greg McBride, Chief Financial Analyst at The victims were asked to forward the money to a collection agency.

And the IRS estimates that 53,600 people in the state of NY may be owed tax refunds from 2014, totaling about $60,135,600. The message threatened the victim with criminal fraud charges, an arrest warrant and a "blacklisting" of the victim's social security number.

If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS, take note: The agency will never initiate a phone call to a taxpayer, unless they're returning your call.

There are established procedures taxpayers should follow to return erroneous funds to the IRS.

If challeneged, you may have to submit additional information, change your return, pay more taxes or face penalties.

By failing to file a tax return, people stand to lose more than just their refund of taxes withheld or paid during 2014.

The Revenue Department and IRS will never call demanding immediate payment of past-due taxes.

Do not trust the number you see on your caller ID, even if it appears to be coming from the IRS.

Educate yourself on phishing schemes, which involve fake email messages created to steal sensitive information, such as passwords, usernames or personal financial information. If an email asks you to open a link or attachment, or includes a threat to close your account, think twice. If you have any doubts at all, go directly to the legitimate website and access your account there. Also, use strong and unique passwords for each online account. Use a mix of letters, numbers and special characters.

Always use anti-virus software and make sure whichever program you use can automatically update.

If an email contains a link, hover your cursor over the link to see the web address (URL) destination.

News reports have featured a number of stories highlighting the different ways that thieves have stolen personal information from victims and used it to commit tax identity theft.



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