Scammers in full force during tax season | SteamboatToday.com
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Scammers in full force during tax season

— Police and a local accountant are urging people to be cautious this tax season to keep from becoming the victim of a scam.

“I have been an advocate on a soapbox to protect the world,” said Donna Meitus, a Steamboat Springs accountant who wants people to be aware of the scams.

There are at least two types of scams that have occurred here and had something to do with taxes or the Internal Revenue Service.



The first one involves people who receive a phone call from someone claiming to be with the IRS or another government agency. The caller can resort to using threats and trying to strong-arm the victim. For example, the caller demands that the victim wire money, or the victim’s house will be seized by the government. The callers sometime threaten to come and arrest the victim.

Meitus pointed out that the IRS rarely calls people over the phone, especially when it is an initial contact.



Steamboat Springs Police Department Detective Stuart Hutton said people should always be leary when a caller demands money be wired.

“If someone is claiming to be law enforcement and trying to strong-arm you, it’s a scam,” Hutton said. “Hang up, and contact us.”

There is another scam involving taxes that has victimized Routt County residents in recent years.

Scammers produced counterfeit tax forms like the W-2 form that taxpayers receive from their employers in January. Then, they filed taxes pretending to be the victims. The tax refunds then were directed to go into bank accounts that Hutton believed were likely oversees.

When the victim went to file legitimate tax returns, the victims learned their taxes had already been filed.

To prevent this sort of identity theft, Hutton recommended people file their taxes early.

“Don’t wait until the last minute to file taxes,” Hutton said.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland


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