Consumers are being drawn in by individuals claiming to be tax preparers. Consumers provide their personal information (i.e., name, social security number, etc.) to have tax refund completed and the phony tax preparer inflates the information as much as possible with fraudulent information. (i.e., claiming children they don’t have, day care expenses, etc.)to obtain a larger refund. The tax refunds are transmitted as a direct deposit (ACH credit) to either a newly created account or an existing account with an impersonator added as a joint owner These accounts are being established by either the impersonator or their recruiters. Once the tax refund has been deposited into this account, the impersonator or recruiter withdraws their fee and the remainder of the ACH credit goes to the tax recipient.
The key here is to deal with a reputable tax preparation group. There should NEVER be a reason to open an account with a tax preparer as a joint owner. Consumers who engage in this type of transaction are filing fraudulent tax returns and would most likely have Internal Revenue Service problems as a result. A healthy tax refund is only valuable if you get to keep it.