Better Business Bureau warns scams during tax season

Better Business Bureau warns scams during tax season

MIDLAND, TX (KWES) - People don't typically change their addresses when they move and this can be an easy way to fall victim to tax identity theft.

"It occurs every year, to what degree it just depends," Heather Massey, regional director for the Better Business Bureau said. "But it's just important that you do follow up if you have moved, contact your former employer or your current employer and update that address so you don't put yourself at risk."

Taking this easy step can prevent from getting your social security number into the wrong hands.

It's also important to file your taxes with a certified public accountant, a tax attorney or an enrolled agent.

"All three of these will protect you in the case of an IRS audit or if there are any problems when you file your taxes," Massey said. "If you go another route and someone doesn't have these credentials, if the IRS does come after you or have some questions, you're vulnerable and you don't have that extra protection."

Make sure to do your research before you hand over your taxes.

A friend or family member may know a reliable source, but BBB.org also has companies and tax preparation services you can use.

Be aware there may be a downfall when it comes to doing your taxes yourself online.

"But if you are confident and you do have a pretty simple form and you want to try that online service, that's completely up to you," Massey said. "But its just you know you kind of trade off with that risk of you don't have that extra layer of protection in case you are audited."

If you are ever victimized or do receive a call from the someone claiming they work for the IRS, you can file your complaint at BBB.org with the scam tracker.

The tracker is an interactive tool that will show you all the scams trending not only in the Permian Basin, but in the U.S.

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