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Terry Goddard Warns Consumers of Tax Season Scams

(March 13, 2007) – Attorney General Terry Goddard today warned consumers to be careful of emails that promise tax refunds or look like “tax notices.” These are common scams during tax season.

These “phishing” scams occur when individuals pose as Internal Revenue Service (IRS) employees and send consumers e-mails requesting personal information, supposedly for the purpose of processing refunds. The emails appear to be official, using language such as “Refund Notice” in the subject lines.

Don’t be fooled! These e-mails are fraudulent and are an attempt to gather personal information that could be used to steal your identity. The IRS does NOT send e-mails asking for personal information to process refunds. Consumers can visit the IRS Web site at www.IRS.gov and click on “Where’s My Refund” to check on the status of their refunds.

Goddard offers the following advice to avoid becoming a tax scam victim:

Never give out personal identification information to anyone you don’t know over the phone unless you initiated the call.
Do not respond to e-mails asking for information relating to refunds. The IRS’s Web site is the legitimate source for checking on the status of your refund.
Do not let anyone claiming to be an agent for the IRS into your home unless he or she has proper identification. You can also call the IRS to verify their identity.

If you believe you have been a victim of fraud, please contact the Attorney General's Office in Phoenix at 602.542.5763; in Tucson at 520.628.6504; or outside the Phoenix and Tucson metro areas at 1.800.352.8431. To file a complaint in person, the Attorney General’s Office has 26 satellite offices throughout Arizona with volunteers available to help. Locations and hours are posted on the Attorney General’s Web Site at www.azag.gov.

Please visit the Attorney General’s Web site to sign up for scam alerts and weekly messages from Attorney General Goddard. For more information about this scam or the Attorney General’s Community Services Program, please contact Katherine Reedy at 602.542.7718.

 

For general media questions about the Attorney General's Office, please contact Andrea Esquer at 602.542.8019.