Articles

IRS Impersonation Scams

In Accounting & Finances, Business, Taxes on December 15, 2015 by Sufen Wang Tagged: , , , ,

IRS Impersonation Scams Running Rampant: Watch out for New Tricks from Con Artists

TaxScamScamming just isn’t what it used to be – it’s a whole lot worse. As technology has evolved, so has the way people use it to exploit other people, and a lot of the time, the victims are taxpayers. Since October 2013, at least 4,000 people have lost more than $20 million collectively from tax scams. As such, the IRS has issued another warning for taxpayers to keep their eyes and ears wide open for any suspicious phone calls, e-mails, or letters.

CardTrickTax scammers have some new tricks up their sleeves and everyone is their target. One ruse is to alter the number that appears on the taxpayer’s telephone caller ID so it looks they’re getting a bona fide call from the IRS or other agency. The scammers keep the act up by spewing fake names, titles, and badge numbers, all to make themselves sound legit.

ScamsSometimes, the scammers will be so kind as to give their victims step-by-step instructions on how they can make the “required” payment, e.g. by going to a nearby bank and getting a debit card. And recently, some scammers have been giving out actual IRS addresses where the victims can mail their payment receipt. Little do the taxpayers know that their money is going straight into the pockets of thieves!

Threatening2On the one hand, these scams work because the fake correspondence often looks and seems official to unsuspecting taxpayers – con artists will even send e-mails and letters using official IRS letterhead. The scams also succeed because taxpayers get scared – scammers rely heavily on fear tactics, such as threatening to call the police, to make people react immediately and shell out money without thinking twice.

The real IRS will NEVER call you about taxes owed without first mailing a Notice, then another Notice, then a bill, etc. etc.  The IRS will NEVER ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone; and will NEVER demand taxes without giving the taxpayer the chance to question the amount owed. If you get a weird call from someone claiming to be from the IRS, HANG UP and call the IRS back from your end at 1-800-829-1040. Also remember that the official IRS website is IRS.gov – if it doesn’t have .gov at the end, get out of there quick!

Sufen Wang, M.S.Accountancy
Wang Solutions, Long Beach, CA (562) 856-0793
Editor: Hannah Huff, M.F.A. Creative Writing: Poetry, (626) 806-5805

 

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