GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. — Con-artists are at work year-round. But at certain times of the year, like tax season, thieves focus on specific scams that are the most effective. 

Experts say knowing how these scams work is the best defense for protecting your money, and talking about them is the best way to help others.

Right now scammers are targeting employers with fraudulent requests for personnel data, like W-2 forms and employment records. And, individual taxpayers may receive fraudulent emails and phone calls from scammers pretending to be government agents. Experts say thieves tell victims that they owe back taxes, demand payment and make threats in an effort to collect.

The Minnesota Department of Revenue keeps a close eye on possible scams, especially during tax season. Jake Feneis is the department's fraud prevention supervisor. He says, “Taxpayers should be cautious of anyone asking for their personal information and should report any suspected scams by calling us or reporting it online through our website.”

AARP Fraud Watch Network also helps consumers avoid scams. To learn more, contact AARP Minnesota.