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Network World - The Internal Revenue Service today reminded taxpayers that there are plenty of scam artists and cybercriminals that want your money.
The tax collection agency issued its "Dirty Dozen" list of tax scams that it says peak at this time of year and include:
Tax fraud through the use of identity theft tops this year's Dirty Dozen list. Identity theft occurs when someone uses personal information such as your name, Social Security number (SSN) or other identifying information, without your permission, to commit fraud or other crimes. In many cases, an identity thief uses a legitimate taxpayer's identity to fraudulently file a tax return and claim a refund, the IRS said.
The IRS is trying to battle the rising tide of identity theft and in January completed what it called a massive national sweep targeting 389 suspects in 32 states and Puerto Rico. The IRS Criminal Investigation unit the total number of identity theft investigations to more than 1,460 since the start of the federal 2012 fiscal year on Oct. 1, 2011. The identity theft fight reflects a wider effort underway at the IRS. Among the highlights:
Phishing is a scam typically carried out with the help of unsolicited email or a fake website that poses as a legitimate site to lure in potential victims and prompt them to provide valuable personal and financial information. Armed with this information, a criminal can commit identity theft or financial theft, the IRS said.
The IRS reminds all taxpayers that they should use only preparers who sign the returns they prepare and enter their IRS Preparer Tax Identification Numbers (PTINs). IRS.gov has general information on reporting tax fraud. More specifically, you report abusive tax preparers to the IRS on Form 14157, Complaint: Tax Return Preparer. Download Form 14157 and fill it out or order by mail at 800-TAX FORM (800-829-3676).