LAKE CHARLES, La (KPLC-TV) – Tax season not only means dealing with confusing tax forms, but scam artists trying to steal your personal information.
Thousands of fraud reports flood the IRS office every year, as scammers become more tech-savvy and sophisticated.
Tax season presents the perfect opportunity for them to strike.
"It's a big time for phishing scams," said Carmen Million, President of the Better Business Bureau in Lake Charles. "This is where people receive calls or they receive an email that they're being told is from the IRS and they are requesting personal financial information."
But the phishing scam doesn't just lend itself to tax season.
"It picks up this time of year, but it's a scam that goes on year-round," said Million.
The IRS said they will never ask for person financial information over the phone or through email.
"That's just not the way they handle their business," said Million.
When looking for a tax-preparer the BBB advises consumers to do their homework.
"You're going to give this person your personal financial information, your Social Security number, so you want to make sure you investigate them," advises Million.
The BBB also says consumers should be wary of working with someone who promises to get them more money back on their returns than anyone else; or someone who refuses to sign the tax return.
Consumers are also advised to make sure the person preparing their taxes will be around in a few years to answer any questions the IRS might have.
"You want to make sure you keep all your receipts that you give the company and that you get that information back from the company," said Million.