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Keep an eye out for scams this tax season, New York’s AG warns

A man holds a pencil and calculator at a desk.
Adobe Stock
A person uses their smartphone to calculate totals for tax forms.

The state’s top prosecutor is raising awareness about possible schemes around tax time.

The Office of Attorney General Letitia James is alerting citizens to be on the lookout for scammers posing as federal employers or overcharging for tax preparation.

James said fraudsters may try to claim taxpayers owe
money to the government, asking for payment in gift cards or prepaid credit cards.

“Bad actors can use a wide range of deceptive tactics, including impersonating government officials and falsely claiming to file people’s taxes, to steal money and personal information from unsuspecting New Yorkers,” James said in a news release.

James also said consumers should beware of preparers advertising free filing services or a speedy return, who may then charge high rates and fees.

Consumers can check a tax preparation agency’s reputation using the Better Business Bureau website, Low-income taxpayers can get free filing help at a local Volunteer Income Tax Assessment, or VITA, site.

James’ office said people who think they were a victim of a scam should report it to her office.

Andrew Della Piana is an undergraduate student studying Broadcast and Digital Journalism at Syracuse University's S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, expected to graduate in May of 2026. As a field researcher, he helps cover community meetings and events for WAER. Andrew aspires to be a play-by-play broadcaster at a major sports network and spent the last 2 years calling games for the UMass Lowell River Hawks. You can follow him on Twitter @Dellie_5.