NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) — Politicians have a warning for New York taxpayers, don’t let just anyone prepare your taxes.

Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney has sounded the alarm about fraudulent tax preparation services, WCBS 880’s Jim Smith reported.

“The industry is now a magnet for scam artists and it’s a national problem,” Maloney said.

Maloney told WCBS 880’s Smith that widespread fraud, especially in low-income areas, means that consumers have to be on guard.

“They should demand information about the fees and other costs up front,” Maloney explained.

Taxpayers should also never sign blank returns or sign refunds over to the preparer.

Maloney is now crafting legislation aimed at cracking down on unscrupulous tax services.

“All of these preparers should be registered so that we know who they are. So we can go back to them if something is not done well,” she said.

Maloney added that there needs to be a basic standard of competency to weed out the scam artists.

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