The season for tax scams

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

COLONIAL HEIGHTS, Va. (WTVR) -- Every tax season brings with it new ways criminals try to get you tax refund.

Carol Williams, with Anderson and Associates in Colonial Heights, said you need to take steps to protect yourself and then make sure your tax preparer is doing the same thing.

First, make copies of everything. And never give the person doing your taxes your only copy of anything.

Second, there's no harm in asking your preparer how they protect your information once they've finished with it. In fact, some use locked bins for all paper work, which is then picked up and shredded on site.

As for finding someone to do your taxes, Don Anderson suggests asking around and finding friends who have had a successful experience versus selecting someone from an advertisement.

Anderson also said that the IRS does not email, so don't respond to an email from the IRS because it's a scam.

The IRS will send you a letter and it will have a phone number for you to call.

One major concern os someone using your social security number and filing a false tax return and receiving a tax refund.

You won't know about that, until your real tax return is sent and rejected. That's when more paperwork will begin.

Additionally, if you save your paperwork on a hard drive, be sure to store that device in a safe deposit box for safe keeping. That's the same thing many businesses do with their computer backups.