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Letitia James offers advice to protect Brooklynites during tax season

March 6, 2023 Rob Abruzzese
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With tax season in full swing, New York Attorney General Letitia James is urging taxpayers to be cautious and stay vigilant against fraudulent tax schemes.

The Attorney General said that New Yorkers need to watch out for scammers who may attempt to steal their personal and financial information through deceptive tactics such as impersonating government officials or falsely claiming to file their taxes.

“Tax season can be a stressful time of year, and the last thing any New Yorker needs is the added concern of dealing with scammers,” said Attorney General James. “Bad actors can use a wide range of deceptive tactics, including impersonating government officials and falsely claiming to file people’s taxes, to steal money and personal information from unsuspecting New Yorkers.

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According to Attorney General James, some of the most common scams to watch out for include fraudsters who claim you owe past tax debts and insist that you pay using a prepaid credit card or gift card, as well as tax preparers who promise to get you your refund quicker but charge high interest rates and fees.

To help New Yorkers protect themselves from these scams, Attorney General James is offering several tips. She advised people to only use established companies for tax-preparation services and reviewing the entire tax return before signing it.

She also recommends checking a tax preparer’s qualifications and history through the Better Business Bureau and ensuring that they sign the tax form and include their Preparer Tax Identification Number upon completion.

Other tips include being cautious of unsolicited calls, text messages, or emails asking for personal information or to verify financial account information, and ensuring that any offers you receive for “free” tax preparation services are actually legitimate and free of charge.

Additionally, Attorney General James advises New Yorkers to take advantage of Volunteer Income Tax Assistance sites, where they can get their tax returns prepared for free.

“I encourage all those filing taxes to stay vigilant, follow the tips from my office, and contact us immediately if you believe you have been targeted or victimized by a scam,” James said.

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