Beware multiple IRS Scams that are quite scary and convincing. Warn your elderly relatives about this because they are quite vulnerable and trusting.
IRS Scams are on the rise. The Internal Revenue Service is warning taxpayers to remain on high alert and protect themselves against the ever-evolving array of deceitful tactics scammers use to trick people. These schemes are performed through letters with realistic IRS letterhead, on the phone by alleged agents of the IRS and by email.
Scammers posing as IRS agents first targeted those viewed as most vulnerable: the elderly, newly-arrived immigrants and those whose first language is not English. But now they are going after virtually everyone.
In a new variation, scammers alter what appears on your telephone caller ID to make is seem like they are with the IRS or another agency such as the Department of Motor Vehicles. They use fake names, titles and badge numbers. They use online resources to get your name, address and other details about your life to make the call sound official. They even go as far as copying the official IRS letterhead!
Thieves who run this scam will often:
– Use common names and fake IRS badge numbers
– Know the last four digits of the victim’s Social Security Number
– Send bogus IRS emails to support the bogus calls
– Make background noise of other calls being conducted to mimic a call site
– Call a second time claiming to be the police or department of motor vehicles. The caller ID again appears to support their claim.
Note that the IRS will NEVER:
-Demand in an angry voice an immediate payment over the phone.
-Threaten to bring in local police to have you arrested for non-payment
-Demand you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
-Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card
-Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone
DO NOT fall for these scams-call the police! If you think you might actually have a tax debt, call your accountant or the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 to confirm what you might owe.
If you know you do NOT owe taxes, you can report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGA) at 1-800-366-4484
Happy and safe holidays and thanks and credit go to my friend George Riter, Esq. of Timoney Knox, LLP for educating me about this scam and providing this infromation.