Twin Falls, Idaho (KMVT-TV) The Twin Falls Police Department is warning people about potential tax fraud.
They have some advice on how to protect yourself from those looking to steal your information.
During tax season, scam artists work extra hard to swindle unsuspecting victims.
As Crime Prevention Officer Dan Heil of the Twin Falls Police Department explains, the so–called fraudsters use a variety of methods.
But, the goal is usually the same.
"Fraud emails or false emails, text messages, phone calls from people saying that they're the IRS and requesting their personal information in order to complete their tax returns," said Officer Heil.
There is one thing everyone should know about the Internal Revenue Service.
"The IRS is never going to contact you via email or text message and they very rarely contact you over the telephone," said Officer Heil.
Usually the IRS will contact your tax preparer or send you a letter. Police warn that the most popular cons these days are the email scams.
"It's very easy for anyone to take Microsoft Word or any of those programs and put together something that looks somewhat authentic," said Officer Heil.
A local woman fell prey to an identity thief this tax season.
"She moved up here from Nevada and someone had already filed a tax return with her Social Security Number," said Sandy Lapray, Taxes By The Book.
That's why it's extremely important you protect your personal information.
"Don't carry your Social Security Card in your wallet and if you do, go to get rid of old tax information just shred it," said Lapray.
An old tax return is like hitting the jackpot for those looking to cash in at your expense.
When in doubt, Officer Heil encourages everyone to contact their local law enforcement agency.
For tips on how to spot fraud, log onto the IRS website.