The Internal Revenue Service is warning senior citizens and other taxpayers to beware of an emerging scheme tempting them to file tax returns that claim fraudulent refunds. Refunds are promised to people who have little or no income and normally don’t have a tax filing requirement. The con artists tell their victims they can obtain a tax refund or nonexistent stimulus payment based on the American Opportunity Tax Credit, even if the victim was not enrolled in or paying for college.

In many cases, scammers are targeting seniors, people with very low incomes, and members of church congregations with bogus promises of free money.

The IRS has also seen a variation of this scheme that incorrectly claims college credit is available to compensate people for paying taxes on groceries. The IRS reminds people to be careful because all taxpayers, including those who use paid tax preparers, are legally responsible for the accuracy of their returns.

Information: Visit IRS.gov.

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