LUDLOW, Mass. (WWLP) – The Ludlow Police Department is advising residents how to avoid tax scams and to be careful with personal and financial information when filing taxes.
According to Ludlow Police Chief Daniel Valadas, one common scam involves residents trying to file their taxes electronically, only to learn that they had been submitted by another entity.
Residents are encouraged to complete and file taxes as soon as possible to give potential scammers less time and opportunity to submit a refund using their information.
“These kinds of scams are all too common this time of year, and we want residents to know and recognize the telltale signs that someone is trying to take advantage of them at tax time,” Valadas said. “My hope is that residents will be mindful of these tips, and will remember to call us or the IRS with any questions they have about possible scams.”
Other scams that have been known to occur, especially during tax season, include the following:
- Scammers calling residents claiming to be from the IRS or another government body
- The scammer informs victims that they did not pay, or incorrectly filed their taxes and now owe money to the IRS, which must be paid promptly through a pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer. If victims refuse to cooperate, they are then threatened with arrest, deportation, or suspension of a business or driver’s license.
- Scammers also sometimes claim to represent the victim’s local police department. Local police do not enforce federal tax laws in any capacity
Ludlow Police is advising residents to remember the following so they don’t become victim to scams:
- If you owe back taxes, the IRS will contact you by mail, and not by phone, email or social media
- The IRS never requests personal or financial information by email, text, or social media. (The IRS says it has no way to text people.)
- The IRS does not leave prerecorded or urgent voicemails
- The IRS will not ask for payment using a pre-paid debit card, gift cards, a money order, or wire transfer.
- The IRS will not ask for a credit card number over the phone.
Valadas said in the latest scam, an “IRS agent” states that a small fee is required to qualify for a government stimulus check. No government agency, including the IRS, requires anyone to pay anything to receive a stimulus payment.
Police are encouraging residents to hang up if they receive a call from an IRS scammer.
If you get a call from someone claiming to be with the IRS asking for a payment, or if you think you may owe money, hang up and call the IRS directly at 800-829-1040.
The IRS also advises residents to forward scam emails to firstname.lastname@example.org, and to not open attachments or click on links in those emails.
If you are ever unsure about a potential scam, contact the Ludlow Police Department at 413-583-8305.