IRS Tax Scams
The office of Consumer Protection at the Montana Department of Justice has been researching tax scams. Here is a guide to avoiding rip-offs, as well as some tips on how to save money at tax time.
Posted on April 3, 2012
Phony College Tax Credit Alert
The Internal Revenue Service is warning senior citizens and other taxpayers to beware of an emerging scheme tempting them to file tax returns claiming fraudulent refunds. The scheme promises refunds to people who have little or no income and normally don’t have a tax filing requirement. Fraudulent promoters claim they can obtain for their victims a tax refund or nonexistent stimulus payment based on the American Opportunity Tax Credit, even if the victim went to college decades ago, or is not enrolled in or paying for college. To get the facts on tax benefits related to education, go to the Tax Benefits for Education Information Center on IRS.gov.
This refund scheme features many of the warning signs IRS cautions taxpayers to watch for when choosing a tax preparer. For advice on choosing a competent tax professional, see Tips for Choosing a Tax Return Preparer on IRS.gov.
Posted on March 8, 2012
Fraudulent Unclaimed Property Email Message
The National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA) is warning consumers to be on their guard against fraudulent emails advising them that they have unclaimed property. The emails contain a particularly deceptive message stating that it is from the NAUPA director, Jeff Smith, and that an abandoned package has been found belonging to the recipient. When unsuspecting people reply to the fake message, they are directed to a contact with an international phone number. An example of the fraudulent unclaimed property messages is online at www.unclaimed.org.
NAUPA, ensures the public that there is no such person and that NAUPA does not notify owners of forgotten or missing funds. NAUPA recommends that people always contact their state unclaimed property office to verify that any communication regarding unclaimed property is indeed legitimate. In Montana, call the Montana Department of Revenue toll-free at 1-866-859-2254 (in Helena, 444-6900).
Posted on August 3, 2011
Unclaimed Property Alert
A Montana newspaper has warned citizens to watch out for unclaimed property scams in our neighboring state, Wyoming. According to the news story, Wyoming’s state treasurer reported that the state’s residents are receiving postcards or emails claiming they have millions coming, if they purchase a form. Some scams ask people to sign a contract and agree to pay a fee of 50 percent for someone to locate their unclaimed property.
In Montana, the Department of Revenue handles unclaimed property. While we do mail notices to citizens and businesses when we think there’s property being held for them, we never charge a fee or ask for a finder’s contract. Our notices will always be on official department letterhead and contain our toll-free telephone number (866-859-2254).
Posted on April 26, 2011
We have been alerted that there may be phony sites that appear to represent our agency. Please be aware that all Montana Department of Revenue URLs will always contain revenue.mt.gov.
Posted on April 4, 2011
Phishing Email Alert
A phishing email is being sent to taxpayers who use the ACH credit system. If any ACH type payments (EFTs, Direct Deposits, etc.) that you send through State of Montana's accounting system--known as SABHRS--get cancelled, you will be notified by the State of Montana's accounting office, not by NACHA.
Below is an example of common wording from a fraudulent email that is currently circulating.
The ACH transfer (ID: 0518371469050), recently initiated from your checking account (by you or any other person), was canceled by the other financial institution.
Posted on April 4, 2011
Last updated 4/3/2012 10:23:31 AM