This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Tax Refund Thefts On The Rise

Scammers are always trying to find ways to steal your money

WASHINGTON, March 18, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- You're not the only one waiting for your tax refund. Scammers are looking for it too. In fact, every year there are more and more scams designed to steal tax refunds.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) says these kinds of thefts have increased substantially in the last few years. Between 2010 and 2012, the number of investigations opened by the IRS grew from 224 to 898, according to the latest figures.

Find out more about tax refund scams, how to protect yourself from identity theft and what to do if you are a victim.

It All Starts with Identity Theft

Tax refund thefts usually begin when someone steals your personal information, such as your Social Security number. This is called identity theft.

To get your information, scammers use a technique called phishing, where a scammer tries to fool you into revealing your personal data.

This is how it works:
  • They send you fake e-mail messages or websites pretending to be someone they're not, such as the IRS or the Social Security Administration.
  • They ask you to provide your personal or financial information such as your Social Security number or your credit card numbers.

Once they have the information they need, they file your taxes in your name and wait until they get your refund.

How to Protect Yourself

This is what you can do to protect yourself from this scam:
  • The IRS does not initiate contact via e-mail with issues regarding your tax return.
  • Be careful with websites that pretend to be the IRS. The official IRS website is
  • If somebody calls you and says they are an employee of the IRS, take down their employee identification number and call 1-800-829-1040 to make sure the call is legitimate.
  • Do not provide your Social Security number or other personal information to anybody you consider suspicious.

What to Do If You Are a Victim

Many taxpayers find out they are victims of tax refund scams when they get a letter from the IRS saying their taxes have been filed twice. If you get such a letter, contact the IRS immediately to try to correct the situation.

1 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,050.75 +138.46 0.82%
S&P 500 2,013.43 +15.91 0.80%
NASDAQ 4,810.7880 +19.6360 0.41%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs