- Days left
The economy isn't the only thing getting a (alleged) boost from the government's economic stimulus checks, being sent out to taxpayers beginning this past week. The political windfall is also stimulating a lot of creative fraud as well.

According to story on MarketWatch, scammers are calling and emailing consumers posing as the IRS or the Social Security Administration. The callers tell consumers they need detailed bank account information or Social Security numbers in order to process their economic stimulus checks. Those consumers who fall for the scam and reveal this information are then subject to identity theft.

The story recommends some steps consumers can take to prevent getting so scammed.
  • Don't ever give out personal information such as bank account numbers, Social Security number or Mother's Maiden name to unsolicited callers.
  • Keep in mind that the IRS will NEVER call you in regards to the stimulus package. The Social Security Administration is unlikely to call you out of the blue, either. Also, remember that you'll only get a check if you filed a tax return this year.
  • Don't click on any links in unsolicited emails -- they may take you to a fraudulent site. Fraudsters these days can create very sophisticated websites that look almost like the real thing. Once there, they will prompt you for information. Don't give it out. If you want to go to the actual IRS site, go to www.irs.gov.
  • If someone calls you and says they're from a government agency, hang up, and call the agency yourself. The FTC keeps a list of government agencies and contact numbers here.
If you filed a tax return this year, be patient -- the check is in the mail, as they say. Wondering when you'll get yours? Check here to find out.


Increase your money and finance knowledge from home

Getting out of debt

Everyone hates debt. Get out of it.

View Course »

Banking Services 101

Understand your bank's services, and how to get the most from them

View Course »

TurboTax Articles

What is IRS Form 8824: Like-Kind Exchange

Ordinarily, when you sell something for more than what you paid to get it, you have a capital gain; when you sell it for less than what you paid, you have a capital loss. Both can affect your taxes. But if you immediately buy a similar property to replace the one you sold, the tax code calls that a "like-kind exchange," and it lets you delay some or all of the tax effects. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) uses Form 8824 for like-kind exchanges.

What are ABLE Accounts? Tax Benefits Explained

Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) accounts allow the families of disabled young people to set aside money for their care in a way that earns special tax benefits. ABLE accounts work much like the so-called 529 accounts that families can use to save money for education; in fact, an ABLE account is really a special kind of 529.

What is IRS Form 8829: Expenses for Business Use of Your Home

One of the many benefits of working at home is that you can deduct legitimate expenses from your taxes. The downside is that since home office tax deductions are so easily abused, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) tends to scrutinize them more closely than other parts of your tax return. However, if you are able to substantiate your home office deductions, you shouldn't be afraid to claim them. IRS Form 8829 helps you determine what you can and cannot claim.

What is IRS Form 8859: Carryforward of D.C. First-Time Homebuyer Credit

Form 8859 is a tax form that will never be used by the majority of taxpayers. However, if you live in the District of Columbia (D.C.), it could be the key to saving thousands of dollars on your taxes. While many first-time home purchasers in D.C. are entitled to a federal tax credit, Form 8859 calculates the amount of carry-forward credit you can use in future years, not the amount of your initial tax credit.

What is IRS Form 8379: Injured Spouse Allocation

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has the power to seize income tax refunds when a taxpayer owes certain debts, such as unpaid taxes or overdue child support. Sometimes, a married couple's joint tax refund will be seized because of a debt for which only one spouse is responsible. When that happens, the other spouse is said to be "injured" and can file Form 8379 to get at least some of the refund.

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum