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Consumer Alert: Tax Day, and Tax Scammers, are Approaching

Friday, April 12, 2024

Reminder: Tax Day is Monday, April 15. With the deadline to file your taxes approaching, scammers will try to trick you out of your hard-earned money. Use our tips below to help protect yourself and your loved ones from tax season scammers.

  • Guard your personal information. Identity thieves can use your Social Security number to take out loans, open credit cards, or even collect your tax refund. Email is vulnerable to hackers, so avoid emailing your Social Security number or other confidential information to a tax preparer or accountant. If you’re using a website to file your taxes, make sure you confirm it is a secure site before entering any personal information.
  • Be wary of anyone who calls or emails you and offers to help with your taxes, demands tax payments, or claims to be with the IRS. The IRS will not call you directly or have law enforcement or another government agency call you on their behalf. If you get a call from someone claiming to work for a government agency, ask them for their name, identification number, and contact number. Then, hang up and look up and call a known contact number for that government agency to verify the call. Avoid anyone who demands you make immediate payments using methods like gift cards, money orders, cryptocurrency, or wire transfers.
  • Think twice before you opt for an instant refund. Some tax preparers and banks offer a refund anticipation check (RAC). This is a paid service for taxpayers who don’t have a bank account to use for direct deposit of their refund, or who don’t have the money to pay for tax preparation assistance. There’s a fee (typically about $30) to set up the RAC system. The preparer deducts that fee, their tax preparation charges, and other fees from the eventual refund. After all that, there may not be much of your actual refund left.
  • If you have questions about something a tax preparer tells you about your taxes, check it out. You can contact the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 or the NC Department of Revenue at 1-877-252-4052.

Filing your taxes can be stressful, and it is easy to let the situation get the best of you. If you are unsure about something or something doesn’t feel right, always make sure to do your research first. If you believe you have been the victim of a tax scam, contact our office at 1-877-5-NOSCAM or file a complaint online at