Senior citizens are being ripped off by crooks promising them bogus tax credits if they file a tax return this year.

Somewhere near a third of senior citizens get by just on Social Security. Most of those people don't have to file tax returns because their income is so low. That actually makes them ripe as targets for this scam.

So here's how it plays out: Crooks approach seniors and say there is a special tax credit that they can help them get. One credit being claimed is that the senior is in college and supposedly eligible for a special higher education credit.

Once they've convinced the senior they can help them, the crook then prepares a fraudulent tax return on behalf of the senior. The senior pays the crook some money for tax prep services, signs the return and then the crooks makes off with a false refund.

Know this: If you're a senior and you're approached by a stranger claiming to help you get money back from the IRS, don't do it.

Second, if you have aging people in your life, be nosy to make sure they're not being taken advantage of. Keep your eyes and ears open to what they say about being approached about investments, tax planning and more.

You need to be a cop on the beat in their lives!

Image of Clark Howard About the author: Clark Howard

Clark Howard is a consumer expert whose goal is to help you keep more of the money you make. His national radio show and website show you ways to put more money in your pocket, with advice you can trust. View More Articles

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