PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — It’s getting to be that time of year… The State Department of Revenue has issued a warning about criminals trying to steal your tax refund.READ MORE: 'Extraordinary People': Flight 93 Families Open Nominations For New Heroism Award
The department says the criminals steal data from tax preparers and use it to file a fraudulent tax return in your name.
The refund then shows up your bank account. When that happens, the criminal will contact you and try to get you to give them the money, saying the refund was made in error and it needs to be repaid.
“If you have any doubts about who is contacting you, then don’t be bullied into taking immediate action,” Pennsylvania Department of Revenue Secretary Dan Hassell said. “You can hang up the phone and contact the IRS directly and ask if you owe them money.”READ MORE: NASA Rocket Launch Should Be Visible Along East Coast Monday Night
The criminals often pose as IRS agents or a collection agency.
Another tax season reminder — the IRS is using new technology to challenge more tax returns, and it’s more likely than ever that the IRS will question your return.
New technology and automated audits allow the IRS to challenge 1 out of every 23 returns.MORE NEWS: Mother Pleads For Answers In 21-Year-Old Son's Unsolved 2019 Murder
If challenged, you may have to submit additional information, change your return, pay more taxes and/or face penalties.