WCHS Eyewitness News Home Charleston Eyewitness Newsroom Charleston Storm Team Weather Sports News TV Program Schedule Community Mobile: Smartphone,Tablet and SMS text Get Connected SMS Text Facebook Twitter See-It,Shoot-It RSS News Feed Email List Tumblr

Scam Involving Filing Of False Tax Returns Under Investigation In Fayette County

Reported: Apr. 2, 2014 2:13 PM EDT
Updated: Apr. 2, 2014 11:30 PM EDT

News Image

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Stefano DiPietrantonio) – A scam alert has been issued in the Kanawha Valley.

Dozens of false tax filings, with several victims in Fayette, Boone and Kanawha Counties have been reported. Mostly these cases involve identity theft.

For example, a couple goes to file their tax return, only to find-out someone else has already done it and collected a return, using their Social Security numbers.

With less than two weeks left to get your taxes done, there's plenty to watch out for.

"And so now we have to verify, who really has the right to claim this individual," accountant Frank Frashier, with the U.S. Tax & Financial Group in South Charleston, said.

Eyewitness News caught up with Frashier, as he was holding on to one of the many fraud cases that have come across his desk, where someone is trying to claim someone else's dependent.

He said it’s a common find this year.

"They'll claim children that don't belong to them," Frashier said.

In Kanawha County, more than half of clients who filed electronically got their federal returns, but are still waiting for their state checks.

"Paper returns that have been mailed in to the state are being processed and paid almost immediately," Frashier said.

Fraud is backing things up on the federal side, which has trickled down to the state level.

"The other part is, it seems to be a cash flow issue on the part of the State," Frashier said.

In Fayette County, the sheriff is investigating false filings, where several people tried to file their returns, only to discover someone else had already filed for the, but had the money deposited to their accounts. Those deposits are being traced right now, but identity theft will hugely delay your return.

"Get in touch with us as quickly as possible," Mark Hanson, who is an IRS Spokesperson, said. "Because it is a lengthy process to resolve an identity theft case. It can take up to 180 days to get the refund you're entitled to."

In Boone county, there are reports of fraud, mostly with the self-employed who file Schedule C.

"They're claiming income they haven't earned," Frashier said.

The biggest mistake that’s being made on the federal side?

"They just simply forget to sign the return," Hanson said, adding the most important thing you need to remember about your taxes.

"The IRS will not call you asking for personal information,” Hanson said adamantly. “The IRS will email you asking for sensitive personal information. There are many phone scams and email scams that are out there."

Bottom line, he said, do not try to claim someone or something you cannot.

Being flagged for fraud is just not worth it. The deadline is April 15. And keep this in mind. If you file for an automatic six-month extension to file your return, that is not an extension to pay taxes you already owe the IRS. Those taxes need to be paid before you file.

FAYETTEVILLE, W.Va. (Jeff Morris) – The Fayette County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a scam involving the filing of false tax returns.

Detectives have received reports from local residents during the past several weeks who were attempting to file their federal and state income tax returns and were informed someone had already filed a tax return using their name, date of birth and/or Social Security number, according to a news release from the sheriff’s office.

Residents who have been victimized by the scam have had to spend considerable time and expense by filing tax returns by mail with extensive documentation, the sheriff’s office said.

Investigators are examining the reports from residents to determine if there is any link among the individuals.

“Some of the individuals targeted in this scheme have used tax preparation services while others have individually filed their taxes electronically,” Sheriff Steve Kessler said in a prepared statement. “We are attempting to determine if these individuals use the same banks or other financial institutions, utilize the same physicians for their health care needs, have engaged in Internet commerce with the same businesses, have experienced the same type of computer virus or similar connections. If we are able to isolate one or more common areas among all these cases, we may be able to identify the possible source where this fraud originated.”

The IRS also has been asked for assistance in the investigation.

Anyone who has experienced a case of this nature is asked to contact the sheriff’s office at 304-574-4216.

Man Who Shot At Police Sentenced To 35 Years
Jul. 24, 2014 6:30 PM EDT
A man who fired an assault rifle at South Charleston ...
Full News Story and Video

Man Arrested For Indecent Exposure Has Ties To Local Youth Sports
Jul. 24, 2014 6:34 PM EDT
Eyewitness News has learned the man accused of exposing ...
Full News Story and Video

Unhappy "Dirty Girls" File Reports With Wisconsin Better Business Bureau
Jul. 24, 2014 6:31 PM EDT
The canceled Dirty Girl Mud Run is generating heat ...
Full News Story and Video

News Three Face Charges After Woman Claims She Was Robbed With Sawed-Off Shotgun
Jul. 24, 2014 6:32 PM EDT
News 2 Charged With Murder And 1 Charged With Robbery In Court
Jul. 24, 2014 5:36 PM EDT
News Kenova Police Implement Drug Task Force
Jul. 24, 2014 6:33 PM EDT
News UAW Backs Grimes In Ky. U.S. Senate Race
Jul. 24, 2014 4:56 PM EDT
News Blenko To Host Festival Of Glass Aug. 1-2
Jul. 24, 2014 4:44 PM EDT
News Salvation Army Hosts Luncheon For Volunteers
Jul. 24, 2014 4:28 PM EDT
News One Worker Killed, Two Injured In Suburban Philadelphia Hospital Shooting
Jul. 24, 2014 5:14 PM EDT
News Walkers Welcome At Charleston Distance Run
Jul. 24, 2014 4:02 PM EDT
News WV Hot Dog Festival Celebrates 10th Anniversary
Jul. 24, 2014 4:09 PM EDT
News Casey, Mooney Talk Business Policy At Forum
Jul. 24, 2014 3:45 PM EDT
News Suspect In West Side Murder Waives Preliminary Hearing
Jul. 24, 2014 6:50 PM EDT
News U.S. Issues 186 Mining Citations In June
Jul. 24, 2014 3:13 PM EDT
News Deputies Say Juvenile B&E Suspects Arrested Clad In Their Underwear
Jul. 24, 2014 3:30 PM EDT
News Wisconsin Better Business Bureau Issues Warning About Dirty Girl Run
Jul. 24, 2014 3:07 PM EDT
News Free Basketball Camp Concludes At Community Center
Jul. 24, 2014 1:53 PM EDT
News WV Capitol Police Officer Kills Copperhead On Capitol Grounds
Jul. 24, 2014 6:35 PM EDT
News MU To Paint The Capital City Green
Jul. 24, 2014 12:32 PM EDT
News New Work Requirement Coming For Healthy People Who Receive Food Stamps
Jul. 24, 2014 1:02 PM EDT
News WV Organizations To Push For Anti-Cancer Vaccines
Jul. 24, 2014 10:49 AM EDT
News Huntington Unveils New Engaging Website For Citizens
Jul. 24, 2014 6:36 PM EDT
News Ukrainian Prime Minister Resigns
Jul. 24, 2014 11:54 AM EDT
News France's Foreign Minister Says Missing Air Algerie Flight "Probably Crashed"
Jul. 24, 2014 11:02 AM EDT
News More Than 8,000 WV Consumers Receiving Refunds
Jul. 24, 2014 10:46 AM EDT
News Process Slow For Picking Huntington Police Chief
Jul. 24, 2014 6:36 PM EDT
News WV Capital Region Takes Aim At Heroin
Jul. 24, 2014 6:37 PM EDT
News WV Plans Vigil Seeking Gaza Strip Peace
Jul. 24, 2014 9:34 AM EDT
News Man Arrested After Police Find Mobile Meth Lab
Jul. 24, 2014 11:32 AM EDT
News GM Issues Recalls For More Than 700,000 Vehicles
Jul. 24, 2014 8:57 AM EDT
News Push America Rolls Through Capital City
Jul. 24, 2014 8:59 AM EDT
News WV Healthy Kids Host Thursday Workshop
Jul. 24, 2014 8:19 AM EDT

Advertise on WCHS-TV Online

West Virginia News
US issues 186 mining citations in June

The Mine Safety and Health Administration says inspectors issued 186 citations at 13 U.S. mining operations in June.
Full Story

Kentucky News
Rand Paul says death penalty is a state issue

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul said the racial imbalance of the nation's prisons that convinced him to support sentencing reform has not prompted him to scrutinize the death penalty in advance of a possible 2016 run for president.
Full Story

Ohio News
Prosecutors seek to extradite former Ohio official

Federal prosecutors have asked a judge to start the process of extraditing a former Ohio deputy treasurer from Pakistan.
Full Story

Fugitive Files Tuesdays at 6 PM on Eyewitness News

West Virginia Wildlife Wednesdays at 6 PM on Eyewitness News

ABC News web site

Send Mail Send email to news@wchstv.com for information or comments concerning WCHS-TV Eyewitness News.
Copyright ©2014, WCHS-TV8. Portions are Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or distributed.

WCHS ABC 8 provides local news, weather forecasts, traffic updates, notices of events and items of interest in the community, sports and entertainment programming for Charleston and nearby towns and communities in the Tri-State area, including Huntington, Dunbar, Marmet, Montgomery, Nitro, South Charleston, St. Albans, Cedar Grove, Chesapeake, Clendenin, East Bank, Glasgow, Pratt, Cross Lanes, Elkview, Pinch, Sissonville, Big Chimney, Cabin Creek, Chelyan, Davis Creek, Institute, Jefferson, Loudendale, Mink Shoals, Pocatalico, Quick, Quincy, Rand, Buffalo, Eleanor, Hurricane, Nitro, Poca, Winfield, Culloden, Fraziers Bottom, Hometown, Red House, Scott Depot, Teays Valley, Danville, Madison, Hamlin, Logan, Chapmanville, Man, Delbarton, Kermit, Gilbert, Matewan, Williamson, Summersville, Richwood, Flatwoods, Gassaway, Sutton, Spencer, Ravenswood, Ripley, Mason, Point Pleasant, Ashland, Pikeville, Ironton, Portsmouth, Gallipolis, and Athens.