Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt is warning Oklahomans about tax and rebate scams that have netted criminals billions of dollars in bogus federal tax refunds.
According to the AG's office, the schemes involve consumers getting a call or an e-mail claiming to be from the IRS, the Social Security Administration, or some other government agency.
"These criminals take advantage of Oklahomans who are simply trying to file their tax returns," said Attorney General Pruitt. "If something sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. Staying alert and being cautious can help prevent costly mistakes."
Consumers may be asked to provide their social security number, bank account number, or another piece of personal information that a skillful crook can use to commit identity theft, according to the AG's office.
E-mails often include a link for a consumer to click. That link may take the consumer to an official-looking, but phony, website that is simply phishing for the consumer's information. The link may also take the consumer to a legitimate site but install spyware or some other form of malware on the way.
Attorney General Pruitt says neither the IRS nor the SSA collects information about government rebate qualifications by telephone or e-mail.
To avoid becoming a victim this tax season, the AG's Public Protection Unit offers a few tax safety tips:
If you think you may be at risk or have been a victim of tax fraud, contact the IRS immediately at email@example.com or the SSA at (800)-772-1213.