CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will begin accepting tax returns on Friday. Experts say you need to be careful who you get to help you do yours.

Every year the IRS sees scams in the form of tax preparers. Since the rate of online scams has increased due to the pandemic they say you need to be extra vigilant this year.

When looking for a tax preparer, or someone to help you fill out your tax return, look for a preparer who is available year-round, not just during filing season.

A preparer should be able to provide their IRS Preparer Tax Identification Number, which is required for paid preparers.

Ask about service fees and avoid preparers who base fees on a percentage of their client’s refund or claim.

Never sign a blank or incomplete return. Always review your return yourself before signing.

Special Agent with the IRS Criminal Investigation, Matthew Line, says do not click on any fake email links promising large refunds.

“If they get your information – your personal identifying information- your name, social security number, date of birth, how much money you made last year, those types of things, it opens the door for them to continue to use your information for personal gain. They can file false tax returns, they can commit other financial frauds using those,” Line stated.

If you experience a tax scam you should report it to authorities and the IRS.