Scams targeting state, seniors with false claims

It is scam season and people in the Midwest are among the targets.

But, it won’t end with the end of March Madness.

Staff report

According to the Better Business Bureau, scammers could be looking for the opportunity to capitalize on the highly-anticipated NCAA Final Four at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis April 6-8.

Nearly 400 ticket scam reports were submitted on the BBB Scam Tracker last year, prompting BBB to encourageawareness and educate fans about the smartest ways to buy tickets on the secondary resale market.

Even the Internal Revenue Service has issued its annual “Dirty Dozen” list of tax scams. The IRS reminds taxpayers to remain vigilant to these often aggressive and evolving schemes throughout the year.

Among the dozen scams the IRS has issued warnings about are:

Phishing: Taxpayers should be alert to potential fake emails or websites looking to steal personal information.

Phone Scams: Phone calls from criminals impersonating IRS agents remain an ongoing threat to taxpayers.

Identity Theft: Taxpayers should be alert to tactics aimed at stealing their identities, not just during the tax filing season, but all year long.

Return Preparer Fraud: Be on the lookout for unscrupulous return preparers.

Inflated Refund Claims: Taxpayers should take note of anyone promising inflated tax refunds.

Falsifying Income to Claim Credits: Con artists may convince unsuspecting taxpayers to invent income to erroneously qualify for tax credits, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit.

Falsely Padding Deductions on Returns: Taxpayers should avoid the temptation to falsely inflate deductions or expenses on their tax returns to pay less than what they owe or potentially receive larger refunds.

Fake Charities: Groups masquerading as charitable organizations solicit donations from unsuspecting contributors.

Excessive Claims for Business Credits: Avoid improperly claiming the fuel tax credit, a tax benefit generally not available to most taxpayers.

Offshore Tax Avoidance: Successful enforcement actions against offshore cheating show it’s a bad bet to hide money and income offshore.

Frivolous Tax Arguments: Frivolous tax arguments may be used to avoid paying tax.

Abusive Tax Shelters: Abusive tax structures including trusts and syndicated conservation easements are sometimes used to avoid paying taxes.

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