Professional scammers targeting more during tax season

Knoxville, Tenn. (WVLT) This tax season, scammers are becoming more daring.
They use cell phones and email accounts to contact potential victims.

Terry Reed, a tax professional at the Knox County Community Action Committee said, "There's identity theft, people who get phone calls from someone who says they're from the Internal Revenue Service . They threaten them will jail or foreclosure. They'll say if you give me your credit card number, I'll take care of your tax bill over the phone. That's not the IRS, that's somebody that's trying to steal your money."

Tax professionals say scams are happening everywhere, even right here in Knoxville.

"They try to get you to go to a website and enter your credit card information to pay a tax credit or bill. They're also calling to get your credit card information to pay a tax bill. They want to get your social security number," said Reed.

One in five people are susceptible to becoming a victim of tax scams.
That's because scammers are going as far as making up children on returns with a fake social security number.

Reed explained, "And they get more money that way using an earned income tax credit. That's one of the biggest scams, is using bogus dependence for income tax credit."

Most of the time, the crooks get busted. But, it's best to protect yourself from the beginning. Never give out your social security number to anyone who isn't certified. If someone calls or emails you, they're probably fakes.

The IRS normally sends all important documents through the mail.

The Knox County Community Action Committee will host free tax filing events until March 15.

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