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Eye on Cyber: Watch Out For These Tax Season Scams

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – While many Americans don't look forward to tax season, there's at least one group of people who do: hackers.

January and February are prime months for hackers to pray on taxpayers, as they share loads of personal information with their tax preparers.

In one fast-growing scam, someone steals some of that information and then calls a taxpayer to say there was an error and their refund must be returned. Following the instructions actually sends the money directly to the thieves.

In another scheme, the call is from a phony IRS agent. Your caller ID might even show it's the IRS. The person may give you a badge number and even know the last four digits of your social security number. You're told that you owe money, you'd better pay now or you'll be arrested, and to put money a prepaid debit card or write it out to them. Don't do it!

Tax or IRS scams may take many shapes and forms. Here's what you need to know: The IRS will use mail, never email or the phone, to first contact you. They will not require a specific type of payment and will always advise you of your right to appeal.

The IRS says don't believe the threats of calling law enforcement. It will never try to bring in police or immigration officers to have you arrested for not paying.

Find more from "Eye on Cyber" by clicking here.

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