STATEHOUSE (March 15, 2021) – As taxpayers continue to file their 2020 tax returns, State Rep. Craig Snow (R-Warsaw) is urging Hoosiers to be on the lookout for identity thieves and scammers.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, COVID-19 led to a 225% increase in the number of identity theft complaints from 2019 to 2020, raising the total to 89,390. The FTC also received more than 2.2 million reports of fraud and nearly $3.3 billion in losses in 2020.
"If you need assistance filing your taxes, it is important to seek out reputable tax and accounting professionals," Snow said. "Do not hand over your personal information without making sure you know exactly who it is going to, and even if you're confident you're doing everything right, remain vigilant."
The Internal Revenue Service reports scammers use mail, telephone or email to deceive individuals, businesses, and payroll and tax professionals. According to the IRS, the bureau does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text messages or social media channels to request personal or financial information. The IRS is reminding the public to avoid scams including unethical ghost tax return preparers who do not sign tax returns they prepare, emails or text messages asking for personal and financial information, and imposters who call taxpayers claiming to be IRS employees using fake names and identification badge numbers.
To avoid falling victim to tax-related scams and identity theft, Snow said to follow these tips provided by the FTC:
Snow said those who believe they are a victim of a scam need to contact local law enforcement immediately. Scams should be reported to the Indiana Attorney General’s office by visiting indianaconsumer.com, and complaints should be filed with Federal Trade commission at ftc.gov/complaint or by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP.
The federal tax filing deadline this year is April 15. To find a reputable preparer, visit IRS.gov.
State Rep. Craig Snow (R-Warsaw) represents House District 18, which
includes Wabash County and portions of Kosciusko, Grant and Miami counties.
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