The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is warning senior citizens and other taxpayers to beware of an emerging scheme tempting Americans to file tax returns with fraudulent refunds.

This scheme carries a common theme of promising refunds to people who have little or no income and normally do not have a tax filing requirement.

To avoid becoming ensnared in this scheme, the IRS says taxpayers should beware of any of the following:

  • Fictitious claims for refunds or rebates based on false statements of entitlement to tax credits.
  • Unfamiliar for-profit tax services selling refund and credit schemes to the membership of local churches.
  • Internet solicitations that direct individuals to toll-free numbers and then solicit social security numbers.
  • Homemade flyers and brochures implying credits or refunds are available without proof of eligibility.
  • Offers of free money with no documentation required.
  • Promises of refunds for “Low Income – No Documents Tax Returns.”
  • Claims for the expired Economic Recovery Credit Program or for economic stimulus payments.
  • Unsolicited offers to prepare a return and split the refund.
  • Unfamiliar return preparation firms soliciting.

To learn more about this scam and how to protect yourself, please read the Tax Scam Warning recently issued by the IRS.