Tax season has arrived, which means scammers are out there seeking to steal your parent’s money or their identity. There are all kinds of tax scams out there. The best way for family caregivers to keep their elderly parents safe from tax scams is to know what kinds of scams are happening and talk to their parents about them. Below are some tax scams caregivers and older adults may encounter.
Ghost preparer scams are among the latest kinds of scams that the IRS is warning consumers about. Ghost preparers tell consumers that they can get them enormous tax returns, or they may charge fees based on the amount of refund the person gets. One way to spot a ghost preparer is that they don’t sign the tax return like a legitimate paid preparer does. Other things they may do are:
- Ask for payment in cash and not give your parent a receipt.
- Invent income or deductions to help the customer get a bigger return.
- Send funds to their bank account instead of to the customer’s.
Scammers may impersonate IRS officials, claiming the person owes back taxes or threatening to issue a warrant for their arrest if they do not return the phone call. They may also demand immediate payment and ask that it be paid with a prepaid debit card, wire transfer, or a gift card. Caregivers should talk to older adults and remind them that the IRS will never call them for payment. If someone calls them saying they are from the IRS, the senior should hang up the phone immediately and should not give them any personal information.
Social Security Refunds.
Some scammers tell people that they can get them a huge Social Security refund. Or, they may tell the person they can get more than they are due, then steal the entire refund for themselves. They may even ask the older adult to fill out tax forms and promise them they’ll get a check from the IRS, but the check never arrives.
Family caregivers can protect their aging parents from these tax schemes by reminding them that if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Caregivers who are uncertain of their parent’s ability to avoid tax scams may want to schedule their tax appointment and attend the appointment with them. If a family caregiver cannot take them to the appointment, a home care provider can drive them to the appointment and back home again.
If you or an aging loved one are considering caregiver services in Deerfield, IL, contact the caring staff at Companion Services of America today at (847) 943-3786. Our home care service area includes Northbrook, Highland Park, Deerfield, Glenview, Buffalo Grove, Evanston, Des Plaines, Skokie, Lake Forest, Wilmette and the surrounding areas.
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