Tax scams increase across region, state

As we inch closer to the April 17 tax filing deadline, there’s a renewed warning about tax scams in the Miami Valley and across the state.

There were 340 reports of tax scams in March, more than double what was reported in January and 21 percent higher than in February, according to the Ohio Attorney General's Office.

>> VIDEO: You could lose your tax refund with this latest IRS scam

The scams come in many forms, including emails asking for your personal information and threatening phone calls demanding payments.

“Scam artists will try to scare you to death, saying they’re the IRS and they're coming to throw you in jail if you don't pay them immediately. The real IRS doesn’t operate like that,” said Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine in a news release.

Scammers also may steal your identity and steal your refund before you can claim it.

>> Clark Howard: 7 tax scams you need to watch out for in 2018

“It’s really important once you get your W-2’s to go ahead and complete the tax process, because scam artists are taking advantage of the fact that maybe you haven't filed yet. Once they have your personal information, your Social Security number, they can submit a phony tax return in your name,” said John North, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau Dayton and Miami Valley.

To help consumers, The FTC and IRS have announced an easier way to report ID theft scams.

Victims who are required to fill out Form 14039, or the IRS identity Theft Affidavit, may now submit the form online using

The website will also help taxpayers make an identity theft recovery plan.

>> Biggest local scams of 2017 included phishing, taxes and sweepstakes

The Ohio Attorney General’s Office has these recommendations to help you avoid becoming a tax scam victim:

  • Hang up on threatening callers.
  • Avoid making payments over the phone.
  • Don't interact with robocalls in any way.
  • Don't trust your caller ID-many scammers used "spoofed" phone numbers to make it look like it's coming from another location.
  • Contact your phone carrier about call-blocking options.

Report tax scams to the U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration; the Ohio Attorney General’s Office; and to the BBB’s Scam Tracker

Got a tip? Call our monitored 24-hour line, 937-259-2237, or send it to

About the Author