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USA IRS warns of post-hurricane frauds

Editorial Staff

And, we're back. Once more, the authorities in the USA are reminding people that fraudsters use natural disasters as the hook for their activities.

In the wake of Hurricane Florence, the Internal Revenue Service is reminding taxpayers that criminals and scammers try to take advantage of the generosity of taxpayers who want to help victims of major disasters.

Fraudulent schemes normally start with unsolicited contact by telephone, social media, e-mail or in-person using a variety of tactics, says the IRS.

* Some impersonate charities to get money or private information from well-intentioned taxpayers.
* Bogus websites use names similar to legitimate charities to trick people to send money or provide personal financial information.
* They even claim to be working for or on behalf of the IRS to help victims file casualty loss claims and get tax refunds.
* Others operate bogus charities and solicit money or financial information by telephone or email.

*Help for disaster victims*

Comprehensive information on disaster-related tax issues, including provisions for tax relief, can be found on the disaster relief page on IRS.gov. In the case of a federally-declared disaster, affected taxpayers may also call the IRS Special Services Help Line, 866-562-5227, with disaster related tax questions. Details on available relief can be found on the disaster relief [ http://www.irs.gov/uac/Tax-Rel... ] page on IRS.gov.

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