Consumer Smart: Do's and Don'ts of Tax Season; "Do Not Call Registry" Scam

CORPUS CHRISTI (Kiii News) - It's that time of year again—time to prepare your taxes. Alan Bligh with the BBB joins John Thomas on 3 News First Edition to give viewers some tips on preparing their taxes. 

Bligh says that all taxpayers should be on the lookout for tax scams, especially emails that claim to come from the IRS. The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email to request personal or financial information.

Also, Texans should always avoid tax preparation services that "guarantee" the largest possible tax return. Tax preparers that submit false information in order to obtain larger refunds for a client put their clients in legal jeopardy.

Tax preparers often offer Refund Anticipation Loans (RALS) to allow you to immediately receive your tax refund. However, RALs are not an actual refund from the IRS but are a short-term loan from the company. According to the Consumer Federation of America, the interest rate and administration fees on RALs can range from 40% to over 700% of your refund. The RAL is an estimation made by the tax preparer of your refund amount, not a statement from the government. As a result, your refund could actually be less than the amount of your loan. This means you may end up owing the tax preparer more money than you received in your refund

Scam of the Week

Bligh also talks about the scam of the week concerning the ‘Do Not Call' Registry. He says that while it is a great way to limit those telemarketing calls, there is now a scam taking advantage of the Registry's popularity.

Schemers have taken note of the popularity of this federal program. The BBB warns consumers that scammers are making phony phone calls claiming to represent the National Do Not Call Registry. The calls claim to provide an opportunity to sign up for the Registry. Bligh warns that these calls are not coming from the Registry or the Federal Trade Commission, and you should not respond to those calls.

The National Do Not Call Registry gives consumers an opportunity to limit the telemarketing calls they receive. Once they register their phone number, telemarketers covered by the National Do Not Call Registry have up to 31 days from the date their telephone number is registered to stop calling.

Note that if your number is already registered with the Do Not Call Registry, your registration does not expire.

To get on the federal Do Not Call registry use these contacts:

To register for the state Do Not Call List, contact:


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