ARIZONA NEWS

Arizona tax officials stop 13 fraud scams during coronavirus outbreak

May 8, 2020, 4:05 AM | Updated: 7:18 am

(Photo by 401Kcalculator.org/Creative Commons)...

(Photo by 401Kcalculator.org/Creative Commons)

(Photo by 401Kcalculator.org/Creative Commons)

PHOENIX — While many stores and restaurants around the state have closed their doors during the coronavirus pandemic, scammers continue to prey on unsuspecting residents.

Since COVID-19 fully emerged in Arizona, the Arizona Department of Revenue has pinpointed and stopped 13 tax fraud schemes using stolen or created identities, ADOR said in a press release Monday.

The amount of tax fraud for the calendar year has totaled more than $10 million, a 50% increase compared to last year.

Of the 13 scams caught, two stood out to ADOR because of the tactics used.

One scam stole the identities of young individuals with refund requests ranging from $48 to $5,000.

Another used the identities of retired or deceased taxpayers to submit fabricated 1099-R forms, which report distributions from pensions, retirement or profit-sharing plans, and annuities, the release said. From there, the scammers filed tax refund claims ranging from $109 to $8,999.

According to ADOR, 99% of individual income tax returns filed in Arizona are legitimate. Since 2015, approximately $130 million in tax refund fraud has been stopped by ADOR.

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Arizona tax officials stop 13 fraud scams during coronavirus outbreak