HARTFORD, Conn. (CBSNewYork) – Tax day is just a few days away, and bogus tax preparers are doing good business in Connecticut by preying on unsuspecting taxpayers.
As WCBS 880 Connecticut Bureau Chief Fran Schneidau reported, it’s mainly the working poor who are being scammed by fly-by-night tax preparers.
Connecticut’s Commissioner of Revenue Services Kevin Sullivan said these unscrupulous people set up shop at tax time to lure filers who are eligible for tax refunds under the Earned Income Tax Credit program.
“Tax preparers, so-called, will say, ‘well here’s the deal. I want you to give me all your personal information,’” Sullivan said. “And then they turn around and rather than filing anything for the taxpayer, they will file false claims for tax refunds in the name of the taxpayer.”
The scammer then sets up a bank account and instructs the IRS to deposit the tax credit refund into that account.
Sullivan said victims of the scam are not only robbed of their refund but are also legally responsible for the information filed and can wind up being penalized for filing a false claim.
The scammers typically set up shop in low-income areas in cities around Connecticut, Schneidau reported.
Sullivan said the first warning sign to look out for is being asked by a tax preparer to sign a blank return.
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