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Watch out for Scams After Disasters

The IRS is warning people to watch out for scams following any type of disaster, this is prime time for scammers to take advantage of individuals who want to help the victims of these disasters financially. The scam usually comes up after a hurricane, wildfire, or any other type of disaster. Scammers know that charity donations will often pickup after a disaster so that is what they try to take advantage of.

The scam will start some type of unsolicited communication such as email, text, a call, social media, etc. Then the scammers use the following tricks to try to get money or personal information out of you:

• Scammers will pretend to be from a legit charity in order to steal your money or information.
• Scammers will setup fake websites that look legit to get your money.
• Scammers will even pretend to be from the IRS and tell you they can help you get additional tax refunds if you work with them and make donations.
The IRS has a few tips with regards to disasters and fake charities:
• You can call the IRS directly at 866-562-5227 to speak with a specialist if you are a victim of a disaster.
• Taxpayers can visit the following IRS website to assist them in finding a real charity to donation to:

https://www.irs.gov/charities-non-profits/tax-exempt-organization-search

• Always contribute money that has a trail such as a check or a credit card.

Always remember that if you get an unsolicited request for your personal information it is most likely a scam so always be aware.

Please consult your tax advisor on all the above information.

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