Tax preparers warn about scammers - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Tax preparers warn about scammers

SHAKER HEIGHTS, OH (WOIO) - It is tax time and the IRS is sending out a warning: Be on the lookout for scammers.

Ed Frygier is the franchise owner at Liberty Tax Service in Shaker Heights.

He says whether they call you on the phone posing as an IRS agent, or try to steal your identity in person, "they look forward to this time of year because they're getting a refund,"

Frygier has been preparing taxes for 25 years and says he's seen his share of tax victims.

"Where somebody has taken their social security number or one of their dependents' social security number, utilized it, filed false tax claims with it, opened up lines of credit," explains Frygier.

Frygier's advice: Always try to protect your personal information.

"Do not be entrusting to those who should not have it. Your social security number is your identification number with the government. Your name doesn't matter anymore," says Frygier.

The IRS posted what to look out for on their website:  Scammers calling you demanding to be paid without a bill, demanding that you pay with a prepaid debit card, or asking for your debit or credit card number and threatening to call the police or have you arrested if you don't pay up.

Real IRS agents will contact you through the mail.

"If you find out the hard way it could take years before it can be straightened out," says Frygier.

If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS asking for money, call the Federal Trade Commission to file a complaint.

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