Don’t be a victim of Tax scams!
By: Ms. K
Don’t be a victim of Tax scams! Even though it is the end of the holiday season, does not mean you can’t be a victim of tax scams. Always be careful when people call you, and try to make you make a payment especially if they say the only accept prepaid debit cards. I repeat that is a SCAM. The IRS would never demand money without officially sending you a certified mail letter to your house. They will make you believe that paying them is urgent and needs to be done immediately.
I was almost a victim to a Tax Scam. It happen almost a couple of weeks ago at work. I received a voice mail saying I need to call back a number because someone has file a lawsuit against me. The first time I called the person kept saying my old house address and they refused to let me speak to a manager, instead they hung up the phone. Red alert number one- You should always be able to speak to a manager. The second red alert to me was when I called back they gave me a different amount, and different tax dates. One thing I know about the IRS they would have put a lien on my account to get their money. While on the phone I kept asking “why can’t I pay on the IRS website” he said we only take prepaid debit cards. In my head I was like this sound crazy. Then he said once I paid an IRS personal would then drop of my paperwork, red alert number three. Why would the IRS come after my payment. Why do I need to pay with a prepaid debit card and not on the IRS website. Nothing was making sense to me, right after getting off the phone, I CALLED the official IRS number and they told me that was a scam. We would never ask for payment via a prepaid debit card. We would have sent an official document to your house.
If you believe something does not sound right always call the IRS to double check.
I am listing some of the scams found on the IRS website: http://www.irs.gov
Most Recent Scams
IRS-Impersonation Telephone Scam
An aggressive and sophisticated phone scam targeting taxpayers, including recent immigrants, has been making the rounds throughout the country. Callers claim to be employees of the IRS, but are not. These con artists can sound convincing when they call. They use fake names and bogus IRS identification badge numbers. They may know a lot about their targets, and they usually alter the caller ID to make it look like the IRS is calling.
Victims are told they owe money to the IRS and it must be paid promptly through a pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer. If the victim refuses to cooperate, they are then threatened with arrest, deportation or suspension of a business or driver’s license. In many cases, the caller becomes hostile and insulting.
Or, victims may be told they have a refund due to try to trick them into sharing private information.
If the phone isn’t answered, the scammers often leave an “urgent” callback request.
Note that the IRS will never: 1) call to demand immediate payment, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill; 2) demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe; 3) require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card; 4) ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone; or 5) threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.
Email Phishing Scam: “Update your IRS e-file”
The IRS has been alerted to a new email phishing scam. The emails appear to be from the IRS and include a link to a bogus web site intended to mirror the official IRS web site. These emails contain the direction “you are to update your IRS e-file immediately.” The emails mention USA.gov and IRSgov (without a dot between “IRS” and “gov”), though notably, not IRS.gov (with a dot). Don’t get scammed. These emails are not from the IRS.
Taxpayers who get these messages should not respond to the email or click on the links. Instead, they should forward the scam emails to the IRS at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, visit the IRS’s Report Phishing web page.
The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email to request personal or financial information.