LISTEN: Feds Talk About SoFla Tax Fraudsters

South Florida is seeing a surge in tax crooks trying to steal from you.As tax season ramps up, crooks are out there to take what's yours.

U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida Wifredo Ferrer says he's dealing with more fraudsters targeting the elderly over the phone.  They pose as IRS agents warning if you don't pay up, you'll be arrested.

"IRS will never ever call you for money.  They will never email you asking you for money. They only communicate through the mail," he says.

He tells South Florida's First News if you get the same kind of call from someone saying he or she's from your bank wanting personal information, hang up and you call your bank.

Kelly Jackson, Special Agent in Charge, IRS-Criminal Investigation's Miami Field Office also warns there's a surge of phony tax preparers,"A lot of the return preparers are filing a false return after they tell you what your refund is going to be. They say you're going to get $2,000 back.  They change the return they get $6,000 back.  They keep $4,000; give you $2,000.  You really have to watch who you go to to have your return prepared.  Not just from information sharing."

She recommends finding a certified tax preparer.  A list can be found at  

To protect yourself from becoming an identity theft victim Ferrer says before your throw away your financial information, shred it.  If you are keeping the information, store it in a safe.  With online banking becoming so popular, Ferrer suggests getting an online monitoring service.

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