Scammers in full force during tax season
Steamboat Springs — 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.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Steamboat and Routt County make the Steamboat Pilot & Today’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
Routt County will give the town of Hayden $35,000 to support construction on the Hayden Center, which has an overall price tag of $6.5 million to $7 million.