How to avoid falling victim to tax scams

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A lot of you are gathering material in preparation for preparing your federal and state income tax forms in 2018. As you do so, remind yourself there are some people out there also preparing....preparing to try and involve you in tax scams and steal your money.

The Nebraska State Attorney General's office says thieves posing as Internal Revenue Service agents may send e-mails that promise tax refunds. Be mindful - the IRS doesn't contact people via e-mail. The e-mails claim you are eligible to receive a specific amount of refund money for filling out a form. Although the online form looks authentic, it's not. When you click on the e-mail links end up providing your personal information to thieves.

Unsolicited e-mails claiming to be from the IRS or a related IRS entity should be reported to phishing@irs.gov or the Attorney General's Office Consumer Protection Division.

Here are tips to avoid becoming a victim of tax scam:
--delete unsolicited e-mails from unknown senders.
--never follow links in e-mails from unknown senders.
--protect identifying information like bank account and Social Security numbers.
--use trusted telephone numbers when contacting government agencies.
--verify government agency information on official websites ending in .gov.
--and remember that the IRS does not communicate with taxpayers or request personal information via e-mail.