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Tax scams getting more sophisticated, IRS agents warn




LAS VEGAS (KSNV) - As the tax filing deadline approaches, the IRS is warning against scams crooks are using to get your hard-earned money.

IRS officials say, once again, this is the time of year when scammers try to get their hands on your refund.

“We continue to see phone scams in the state of Nevada and we do have scams here in the valley,” said Special Agent Tara Sullivan with IRS Criminal Investigations.

“We started tracking reported phone scams in late 2013. Since then, we’ve had 209 victims in the state of Nevada that have come forward, reporting losses of over $700,000,” Sullivan said.

So, what can be done?

Sullivan says to be very careful about whom you let do your taxes. Scammers are now hacking into the computers of tax preparers, looking for security flaws, getting their hands on everything from your name to your Social Security number.

When it comes to making sure you don’t run into legitimate issues, IRS spokesman Raphael Tulino says to watch your calendar.

“If you can’t get it done by the 17th of April, you have an extra six months to file. You can take an extension, it’s easy to request and it gives you until mid-October,” said Tulino. “Tax benefits, you should take advantage of all of them to lower your bill. You shouldn’t pay any more taxes than you owe.”

If you do run into issues, remember -- the IRS will always give you a chance to question or appeal.

Sullivan also says if you get a call in the first place, take that as the biggest red flag.

“The IRS makes contact through a letter,” she said. “The IRS will not threaten you, demand you make an immediate payment, certainly won’t ask for payment in the form of any kind of gift card.”

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