How to avoid falling for seasonal scams, tax fraud

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A prosecutor from Indianapolis is warning people not to fall for any scams this tax season.

Officials said to watch out for thieves posing as IRS workers, trying to get personal information and money.

Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department detectives said someone fell for an IRS scam on Wednesday, in which they got a phone call saying they owed more than $1,000 in taxes.

IRS officials are also warning people about criminals who use other peoples’ social security numbers to collect tax returns.

At the Broad Ripple Family Center, Romaz Griffin was handing off sensitive information Thursday, but he said he wasn’t worried.

Griffin was letting an IRS volunteer help him file his taxes.

“I get my paperwork, then it’s back home in the safe place it needs to be,” Griffin said.

Griffin said he’s never been a victim of tax fraud, but he’s heard horror stories.

“Those people are nothing but thieves. It’s just a crying shame people in society could do stuff like that,” he said. “To me, it’s like taking checks out of a mailbox.”

To avoid tax-related identity theft, IRS workers say you shouldn’t carry your social security card with you, you should use strong passwords online and you should not click on any unusual links or emails.

As for the people committing the crimes, Griffin has the following advice:

“Don’t do it. Because if you get caught you are going to go away. If you do the crime, be prepared to do the time.”

Officials say if you are a victim of tax-related identity theft, you should report it to the IRS.

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