ALERT – Social Security, IRS Refund Scam

ktadmin Post in Identity Theft, Self-Defense
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All scam artists are scum but this one is really low. Some scams take advantage of greedy people or people who think they are looking to rip someone else off. This scam targets senior citizens, the sad part about this scam is the victims get warned before they get ripped off but they ignore the warning! Guess they may fall into the greedy category after all but I still think this one is low. Here is how it works:

According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), someone approaches an elderly citizen and asks if they have filed to get the tax back on their Social Security benefits. They tell the victim (the Social Security beneficiary) to get a 1099 from Social Security so that they can file the income tax refund for the beneficiary. The beneficiary requests the last 3 years 1099 statements showing their Social Security Benefit. The SSA has no choice except to give them the information because it gives them the total payments they have received. (here comes the warning I mentioned) The Social Security Administration does tell them that what they are about to participate in is a scam. Few believe them — or want to. The tax preparer files three years’ tax returns showing SS benefits as income. They put in the standard deduction and come up with a refund amount. The beneficiary files the tax return. The Internal Revenue Service sends them a refund. The beneficiary pays the preparer between $40 and $100. IRS realizes the error and either takes the refund out of the beneficiary’s bank account or sends a demand letter for the refund. The preparer has gotten their money and has moved on, while the beneficiary is out the amount of money paid the preparer and must repay the “refund” to IRS. For more information, visit: http://www.ssa.gov/.

Now I don’t know about you but that sounds like a lot of work to do for $40 to $100! For all the time and their risk you would think the scam artist would want more for their time. Well no one said criminals are smart, just the ones that don’t get caught. The one thing that this report forgets to mention is that the scam artist also walks away with your social security number, date of birth, signature, and if they are crafty a copy of your driver’s license…that is a self-made identity theft gift pack!! So as always protect yourself and for goodness sake use some common sense because if it sounds to good to be true then it probably is!

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