Beware of Tax Scams
It’s that time of year again. You’re prepping your taxes and scammers are prepping their attempt at stealing your money and personal information. Here are some telltale signs of a tax scam along with actions taxpayers can take if they receive a scam call.
Is the person being demanding, requesting money, or threatening to take legal action? Then you’re probably talking to a scammer. The IRS will never call to demand immediate payment or threaten to immediately bring in the local police or other law enforcement groups to have the taxpayer arrested for not paying. You should hang the phone up and contact the IRS directly to seek out information and to report the scam phone call.
IRS Ransomware Scam
These scams start with an email, a website, or a social media link that you simply click. With that one click, you install malicious content on your computer or phone that takes over your device. You’ll receive a pop-up that requests that you pay or call a number to make a payment to the person who has your computer hijacked.
Identity Theft and Your Taxes
What if you receive a notification from the IRS that your taxes have been filed, but you haven’t filed them yet? Let the IRS know right away. It’s likely your information has been stolen and you were unaware. The best way to prevent this to file taxes as soon as possible.
Student Tax Scams
Scammers will reach out to victims through email, phone calls, and texts claiming to be from the IRS and asking for a tax that doesn’t exist.
Email, Calls, and Texting
As always, be wary of any email, phone calls, or text messages you receive. A scammer can use language and tricks to make you think they’re legitimately from the IRS and then ask for your personal data. A few deceptions they will use are….
- The caller ID could say IRS.
- Call unexpectedly about a tax refund
- Demand that taxes be paid without giving taxpayers the opportunity to question or appeal the amount owed.
- The caller can provide you with fake IRS badge numbers and names.
- They could use language like “we’re processing your request”, “your payment has processed” or “your filing is incomplete”.
- A text message might attempt to get you to click a link.
There are many other ploys a scammer may use in an attempt to trick you into giving them your information. Don’t give out personal info, don’t click a suspicious link, and never send someone money without double-checking your resources by calling the IRS directly.
Taxpayers who receive these phone calls should record the number and then hang up the phone immediately. Report the call to TIGTA using their IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting form or by calling 800-366-4484. Also, report the number to firstname.lastname@example.org and be sure to put “IRS Phone Scam” in the subject line.
Visit http://www.identitytheft.gov/ if you have experienced tax identity theft, to start the reporting process.