11 Investigates: Top Tax Scams to Watch for This Year

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IRS officials say they are seeing more crime this year targeting taxpayers than they have in years.

These scams can affect anyone. The goal of these scammers is to get your personal information and account numbers, and these scams can take different forms.

According to the IRS, the top three tax scams this year are identity theft, telephone scams and phishing.

Identity theft is a major problem, and it usually takes the form of tax fraud. In many cases, a crook uses a taxpayer's identity to file a fake tax return, and then get the refund.

If you think your personal information has been stolen, report it to the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit at 1-800-908-4490.

The telephone scam is one of the most prevalent in Southern Colorado. The caller claims to be with the IRS. They usually demand money and make some kind of threat, like jail time.

In cases of phishing, the scammer sends an email with some kind of link to a fake website. It asks the victim for personal information, and can lead to identity theft.

If you get a suspicious email, forward it to the IRS at phishing@irs.gov.

The most important thing you can do to protect yourself from these scams is to understand how IRS officials operate, then you can spot the red flags if you get a suspicious phone call or email.

According to the IRS, their employees will never call and threaten you.

If you owe money, or there is some kind of issue, the IRS will send you a letter in the mail. They will not send you an email asking for payment or any financial information.

IRS officials say if you do get a suspicious call and want to confirm who the caller is, ask for their name, phone number, and their badge number.