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Utahns warned of sophisticated tax rebate scam

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah State Tax Commission has issued a warning about a sophisticated new scam as Utahns are beginning to file their taxes.

The scam first targets tax professionals’ computers, using malware to steal data about taxpayers. The scammers then use that data to file fraudulent tax returns and fool the taxpayers into transferring their rebates to another account.

“If a taxpayer receives a call saying their refund has been deposited into their account in error, they should immediately hang the phone up and contact their bank or credit union to take corrective measures,” said Charlie Roberts, spokesman for the Utah State Tax Commission, in a statement sent to FOX 13.

Taxpayers should then contact the IRS or the Utah State Tax Commission to report the incident.

The Tax Commission stated that neither the State of Utah nor the IRS would demand identification information over the phone.

For those who receive direct deposit rebates that weren’t requested, the following steps should be taken:

  1. Contact the automated clearing house department of their bank or credit union where the direct deposit was received and have them return the refund to the IRS or Utah State Tax Commission.
  2. If an incorrect refund is on a federal return, call the IRS at 1 800 829-4933 to explain why the direct deposit is being returned. If the incorrect refund is from the Utah State Tax Commission, call 801 297-2200 and make the same report.

“Unfortunately, this scheme is likely just the first of many that will be identified this year as the State Tax Commission, IRS, and tax industry continue to fight against tax-related identity thieves,” Roberts said in the statement.

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