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IRS tracks scams during pandemic

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) – 2021 saw a record number of scams tied to economic impact payments.

The IRS tells 11 Call For Action investigator Katie Pelton that this is a rate not seen in more than a decade.

Pelton spoke with Assistant Special Agent in Charge Amanda Prestegard on how citizens can avoid falling victim to one of these scams?

Pelton: “First, let’s talk about what the IRS criminal investigation handles and how you’re involved in bringing criminals to justice.”

Prestegard: “The IRS Criminal Investigation is the investigative arm of internal revenue service and we work on investigating financial crimes, mainly related to frauds against taxpayers and income tax and corporate and other types of tax fraud. We also investigate other financial crimes and refer prosecutions to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.”

Pelton: “This year, far and away the biggest scam you’ve seen at the IRS has to do with the economic payment scams. What does the scam look like?”

Prestegard: “We’re seeing a lot of identity theft unfortunately related to that. People filing returns on behalf of others, and we’re also seeing people file returns that are not correct in order to get or maximize that impact payment. Also, we’re seeing a lot of people fall victim to — whether it’s text scams, calls, or emails related to asking for personal identifiable information to help them get those economic impact payments. One thing I want to make clear is you can work directly with…

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