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Be on Your Guard for Tax Scams

Did you know that tax season is prime time for criminals trying to steal your money through tax scams?

You can't prevent all tax fraud, but you can take steps to reduce your risk of becoming a victim. Here are 3 of the most common tax scams with some pointers on how to avoid trouble:

Fraudulent returns. If a thief obtains your Social Security number and other tax-related information, they may try to file a fake tax return based on your record to get your refund. The IRS works hard to detect fraudulent returns and last year prevented more than $190 million from being stolen in this manner. Protect your identity especially at tax time:

  • File your own tax return quickly as the IRS accepts only one return per Social Security number - make sure yours gets there first.
  • Check your mailbox frequently to retrieve tax forms like W-2s and 1099s.
  • Review your credit report regularly.
  • Don't give out your Social Security number unless it's required.
  • Destroy any paper documents with your Social Security or bank account numbers by shredding.

Phishing. When you receive a text or email that claims to be from someone else, like the IRS or even a friend, this is called phishing. Phishing emails can look very official, including links that take you to fake IRS websites. The IRS will never send you an email as an initial contact in any tax issue - you will always get a paper letter first. Authentic IRS webpages will begin with "irs.gov" and not irs.com, irs.net or irsgov. If you receive an email supposedly from the IRS and you are not expecting it, don't open any attachment or click through any link. You can report it to the IRS by forwarding to phishing@irs.gov.

Telephone scams. Have you received one of these calls? The caller represents himself as an "IRS agent" and declares that you owe federal taxes. In the past few years alone, scams like these have cost their victims more than $23 million. Another type of phone scam requests your banking information for a non-existent refund. Again, the IRS will never call you without first mailing you a letter or a tax bill, and won't ask for banking or credit card information over the phone. Even if you do owe taxes, you have the right to appeal your case. Don't talk to anyone whom you suspect to be fraudulently representing the IRS - hang up and report the incident to the IRS scam reporting website or call them at 800-829-1040.

We Can Help with any Personal Injury Case

If you or a family member has been injured in an accident or by any type of personal injury, please contact the Law Offices of Diana Santa Maria, P.A. immediately. Our experienced attorneys will fight for the compensation you deserve. Please call us for a free consultation. Attorney Diana Santa Maria, personal injury attorney in Fort Lauderdale, will fight to secure justice for you and your family. You can reach us at (954) 434-1077 or contact us via the website.

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I'm so grateful to your staff for assisting me with obtaining medical care from my injuries. Words cannot express my appreciation for aiding me with my case. The staff is very efficient, people oriented and caring. Continue to not only provide legal assistance, but the love that makes and impact on the lives of your clients. B.B. (Premises Liability)
Our experience with the Law Offices of Diana Santa Maria, P.A. was excellent. Her staff is kind and professional. Attorney Diana Santa Maria is an outstanding human being and a true professional. I would recommend them 100%. R.P. (Premises Liability)
I am extremely satisfied with the legal services provided by this law firm. I feel grateful to the staff and to Diana Santa Maria in particular. I would definitely recommend Diana Santa Maria for legal representation in any accident matter. E.M. (Auto Accident)
Overall great experience, totally professional and would not hesitate to recommend! Helpful on every level of this case-from day #1 and throughout! I would not hesitate to recommend Diana to anyone in need of superb legal services! They were extremely helpful and kind during a stressful time. The office is beautiful, the paralegal team and staff are totally knowledgeable and professional. A.T. (Auto Accident)
My personal experience with the office of Diana Santa Maria has been one of mutual respect and excellent personal service... their integrity, personal care and efficiency handling my case. The availability of Ms. Santa Maria when required or requested and the attention to my case always included a personal touch. C.R. (Auto Accident)