There’s a sophisticated telephone tax scams currently being perpetrated, which tries to trick and intimidate people into paying bogus tax bills. Tax Help MD recently saved Debbie and Bob Wiley of New Hampshire a substantial amount, while helping them avoid the scam. Tax Help MD also reported the scammers to the New Hampshire Attorney General’s office.
Tax Scams Are Everywhere
The IRS says the tax scams have been reported in almost every state. The scammers prey on innocent taxpayers, often immigrants, using fake IRS badge numbers and the last four digits of the victim’s Social Security number. They also use technology to “spoof” the agency’s toll-free Caller ID number. Potential victims are told they owe money that must be paid immediately via a pre-paid debit card or wire transfer. If the victim refuses to cooperate, the scammers respond with hostile and intimidating language coupled with threats of arrest, deportation or suspension of their business and/or driver’s license.
Scammers often send fake IRS emails or place follow-up calls from someone pretending to be from the local police or state motor vehicles department. Keep Your Eyes Open For A Variety Of Tax Scams The IRS has reported other scams across the country.
Here are a few other scams to look out for.
Rebate Phone Call Scam In this scam
Victims receive a call from an “IRS employee”. The caller tells the victim that he or she is eligible for a sizable rebate for filing early. The caller then asks for the victim’s bank account information for the direct deposit of the rebate. If the target refuses, he is told that he cannot receive the rebate.
Refund e-Mail Scam
Several variations of the refund-related scam exist. An email informs the recipient that he or she is eligible for a tax refund, and instructs them to click on a link to access the refund claim form. The form asks the recipient to enter personal information that the scammers then use to access the e-mail recipient’s bank or credit card account.
Audit e-Mail Scam
Using a technique calculated to get almost anyone’s attention, the e-mail notifies the recipient that his or her tax return will be audited. This is the first scam of which the IRS is aware that uses this to get the victim to respond.
Changes to Tax Law – Tax Scams
Victims receive an “official IRS” email with a link which downloads malware onto the recipient’s computer. Malware is malicious code that can take over the victim’s computer hard drive, giving someone remote access, or locating passwords. The URLs contained in the link are not legitimate IRS Web addresses. All IRS.gov Web page addresses begin with https://www.irs.gov/
Paper Check Phone Call
In a current telephone scam, a caller claims to be an IRS employee who is calling because the IRS sent a check to the individual being called. The caller states that because the check has not been cashed, the IRS wants to verify the individual’s bank account number. The caller may have a foreign accent.
How the IRS Works
The IRS does not call and ask for money. The IRS does not contact taxpayers by email. The IRS does not request personal financial information. The IRS does not request personal identification numbers, passwords or bank account numbers. All IRS.gov Web page addresses begin with https://www.irs.gov/
What To Do If You Are Scammed
Consumers who suspect they’ve been the target of the scam should report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 1-800-366-4484. Also contact the Federal Trade Commission at FTC.gov by using the FTC Complaint Assistant. Include “IRS Telephone Scam” in the comment section of the complaint. Consumers also should avoid opening attachments or clicking on any links in suspicious emails. Forward the emails to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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