From a News Release by WV Attorney General Patrick Morrisey
CHARLESTON — Attorney General Patrick Morrisey today warned consumers to be cautious of tax-season scams circulating through the state, including reports that some citizens’ tax returns have already been filed by someone else.

 
“Our Consumer Protection Division has received numerous calls and written complaints from citizens who are rightly concerned that someone else has already filed taxes using their name and Social Security number,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “We urge anyone who is informed by the IRS or State Tax Department that their taxes have already been filed to take immediate action by calling the agency as well as local law enforcement.”
 
Scammers will use common tax-preparation software to submit fake returns. According to Krebs Security website, krebsonsecurity.com, scammers will use a modest salary and average refund amount in order to not raise suspicions. They have the refunds deposited on a unique pre-paid debit card or store gift card for each fake filing made. Krebs said scammers are hitting both the IRS and state tax departments.
 
“Pre-paid debit cards provide the perfect cover for scammers. They cannot be easily traced or recovered once the deposit is made,” Morrisey said.

The IRS said taxpayers should be aware of these warning signs of possible identity theft: Consumers who believe they have been victims of tax-related identity theft should report the incident to the following agencies: “This scam is scary for taxpayers who, through no fault of their own, have their identities stolen by cybercriminals,” Morrisey said. “But it’s also important for citizens to remember that if there is a problem with their taxes, neither the state tax department nor the IRS will ever initiate contact with taxpayers by telephone, email, or text and ask them for personal or financial information. Consumers should report any tax impersonation scams immediately.”
 
If you believe you have been the victim of tax-related identity theft, call the Attorney General’s Office Consumer Protection Division by calling 800-368-8808 or the Eastern Panhandle field office in Martinsburg at 304-267-0239. To file a report online, go to www.wvago.gov.