State officials issue warning about tax refund scams

MADISON -- State officials are warning taxpayers to be on the lookout for tax refund scams. They say fraudsters know that people are looking forward to tax refunds and will use that knowledge to steal refunds and trick consumers into giving up personal financial information.

There are many tax preparation services and lenders who will legitimately help consumers file tax returns and obtain refunds. Others, however, may hide their true purpose and get personal financial information under false premises or file a tax return without consent and keep all or part of any refund.

The Wisconsin Departments of Justice (DOJ), Revenue (DOR) and Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) are asking Wisconsin consumers to notify the state when they see questionable practices.

Here are some tips to avoid becoming the victim of tax preparation fraud:

    Anyone suspecting fraudulent activity is encouraged to file a complaint with the state. Complaints can be filed online through the DATCP website or a complaint form can be requested by calling the state’s Consumer Protection Hotline at 800-422-7128.