Tax scam targets seniors with new twist



Posted on March 28, 2011 at 6:09 PM

Susan Johnson is putting off doing her taxes, again. Like a lot of seniors, she wants to do it old school -- with pen and paper.

"I'm going to be very careful about it, and I won't do mine on the internet, I know it's supposed to be very safe," she said. 

This year, the IRS did not send forms in the mail. So people had to pick up the forms on their own or e-file for the first time. Jean Mathisen with the AARP Fraud Fighters unit says scammers know seniors are looking for help to prepare their taxes on-line.

"So they're calling and pretending that, 'We can help you over the phone, it'll save you a lot of trouble, just give me your information and I'll file your return,'" Mathisen said.

Scammers are trying other tricks, like phishing emails claiming to be from the IRS. Some may call up, saying there is a problem with the return or refund. Don't fall for it, it's a ploy to get your social security numbers.

"They already have that information, they wouldn't need to call you and ask you what your social security number is," Mathisen said.

If you get a call from someone who claims to be from the IRS, don't give them any information. Take their number, then look up the IRS office in your area, call them and ask why they are contacting you.

IRS alert on scams


IRS Free File


AARP Fraud Fighters


AARP Tax-Aide