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Protect yourself: Springtime is scam time

4 years 8 months 3 weeks ago Thursday, February 26 2015 Feb 26, 2015 February 26, 2015 8:20 AM February 26, 2015 in News
Source: WBRZ
By: Hunter Robinson

BATON ROUGE - Springtime is scam time. Whether it's your tax returns or yard work, scammers are looking to con you to get your money or personal information. National Consumer Protection Week was created to keep that from happening.

"We're seeing a lot of disputes about tax prepares," Sam Pleasant told News 2's John Pastorek. "Also, people claiming to be the IRS saying people have to pay them over the phone or send a wire payment when it's actually not true. It's not the IRS contacting these people."

Pleasant is the Director of the Louisiana Attorney General's Public Protection Division. She warns that the IRS will never call you.

"They'll only send you something in the mail. They only contact you via phone or email if you give them permission to," she cautions. "That's always something to tip you off there's a scam, if they're contacting you over the phone and demanding payment immediately."

The AG's office recommends preparing before you ask someone else to do your taxes.

"Check references, ask the business are the preparer or check online to see the reputation of the person or the software you want to do your taxes," Pleasant said this morning on 2une In. "It's really crucial you talk to other and find out how they feel about the product or preparer.

Scammers don't just target you during tax season. Some may also try to steal money doing work around your house as temperatures warm up.

"Check with Louisiana Contractor Licensing Board to make sure these people are licensed, and don't be persuaded to sign on the dotted line immediately." she explains. "Only give about 10% of the payment down. Don't pay in full until your satisfied with all of the work."

The Louisiana Attorney General's Office is hosting several events in our area to keep you informed and your information secure during National Consumer Protection Week. WATCH our interview with Sam Pleasant or visit Attorney General Buddy Caldwell's website for more information.


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