March 2017 Fraud Prevention Fact
March is the height of income tax time, which also is prime time for the scam artists. That’s why the Missouri Senior Medicare Patrol is devoting this fraud prevention fact to protecting against fraud during tax season. Scams are so common during tax time that the IRS has come up with a list of the top ones. Here are a few:
The first is phishing (with a “p”). You need to be aware of fake emails or websites trying to steal personal information. The IRS will never initiate contact with you in email about a bill or refund. If you get an email from the IRS, delete it. Don’t click on it.
Then there are the phone scams. Criminals pretending to be IRS call and threaten taxpayers with police arrest, deportation and license revocation, among other things. Don’t fall for it. The IRS is not going to call you and threaten to arrest you.
You need to watch out for identity thieves year round, and tax time is no exception. Criminals would like to get ahold of your Social Security number to file a fake tax return. If you plan to file a return, do so as soon as possible. That way, the IRS will know if someone else is trying to use your number after you have filed. Always protect your Social Security Number. Also, protect your bank account and your Medicare numbers.
If you have a professional file your tax return, make sure it’s someone you trust, not someone who sets up a temporary location and preys on people looking for inexpensive services. For more information, visit www.irs.gov.
As always, report suspected Medicare fraud to the Missouri Senior Medicare Patrol at (888) 515-6565.
SMPs are funded through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Community Living, Administration on Aging.