The day most taxpayers fear like no other is almost upon us. Yes, I’m talking about April 15, the deadline for filing your individual income tax return. As the day approaches, the stress level for most individuals goes through the roof. Scam artists see this as an opportunity.
There are criminals and then there are bold criminals. When it comes to the Internet, most criminals stick to basic things like trying to trick you into revealing your credit card numbers. Those who are really consider sophisticated might copy a well-known site and try to trick you into shopping on it. And then there are the really bold criminals. These are the individuals that will go out and pretend that they are somebody that nobody really wants to get caught messing with. For instance, there are criminals that now pretend they are the IRS in an effort to scare you and me into releasing sensitive information.
Let’s make something very clear from the outset. The IRS will not contact you by e-mail. If you get an e-mail from somebody pretending to be the IRS, red lights should be flashing in you mind. Bells should be going off. Horns should be sounding! To be honest, you should be able to tell that the e-mail you received is fraudulent purely based on the grammar and language being used. Although the IRS has been criticized for many things, there are a few people who believe that the agents of the IRS type in broken English. If you receive an e-mail from the IRS, just disregarded it! It is a SCAM!
A secondary scam that is occurring is one in which people are being promised excessive refunds on their tax returns. The scam usually comes in the form of a promise of a stimulus check from the recent tax legislation initiated by President Obama. Unlike the tax refund offered under President Bush, the legislation passed recently by Congress does not include a refund check to taxpayers. Instead, the amount of taxes taken out of your paycheck has been reduced. Put simply, there is no stimulus check coming. You should have seen an increase in the amount of your take-home money from your paycheck starting in April. As a result, any programs or claims regarding stimulus checks are simply false. Don’t fall for them!
The tax deadline for April 15 can cause people to be stressed out and rush to get things done. You don’t need to be this way. You can get an automatic six month extension to file your tax return by filing Form 4868. You have to pay any taxes due, but even that can be done with a credit card. Well, assuming you still have a credit card given the banking mess! Regardless, the world is not going to end if you don’t meet the April 15 deadline. Just make sure you don’t fall for any of the scams that are being published across the Internet. That will really make your life miserable.