Experts warn of tax time schemes

U.S. & World

If you’re still waiting for that tax refund check, you’re probably still vulnerable to tax scam artists, who always start their dirty deeds by phone.

The first thing you need to remember is that the internal revenue service always sends you a letter first, said Katherine Hutt of the Better Business Bureau.

If you’ve already received your refund, consider yourself fortunate. Because, in spite of all the complaints about smaller refund checks this year, it’s still a substantial chunk of money at one time.

Right now averaging $3,000 according to the IRS, said Jean Chatzky, financial editor for the Today Show.

A chunk Chatzky says should be set aside to improve your personal financial situation.

That is an opportunity to create the emergency savings account that very few people have, Chatzky said.

She says putting much of it in a higher-interest-bearing savings account protects against future debt.

If you have an emergency, if you have a leaky roof, if you have a medical bill, you don’t have to put it on a credit card and pay those high interest rates, Chatzky said. You can pull that money out of your emergency savings, you can use it and you can replenish.

Getting the most out of a tax refund that is the biggest single check may Americans will get this year.

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