“This is the IRS and you owe taxes. Unless you pay RIGHT NOW with iTunes Gift cards we are going to come and take you to jail”
Sounds ludicrous, yet thousands of people have lost millions of dollars and their personal information to tax scams. Scammers use the regular mail, telephone, or email to set up individuals, businesses, payroll and tax professionals.
The IRS DOES NOT INITIATE CONTACT with TAXPAYERS. They do not use social media, email or text messages.
With just about six weeks left before the April filing deadline, the scammers and crooks are out in full force. The scammers are getting better by the day and have created many new angles to steal your money.
My Top Four IRS TAX SCAMS
- iTunes Gift Cards – IRS impersonators are demanding payments on iTunes and other gift cards. The IRS reminds taxpayers that any request to settle a tax bill by putting money on any form of a gift card is a clear indication of a scam. Victims are told they owe money to the IRS and it must be paid promptly through a gift card or wire transfer. Victims may be threatened with arrest, deportation or suspension of a business or driver’s license. In many cases, the caller becomes hostile and insulting. Victims may be told they have a refund due trying to trick them into sharing private information. If the phone isn’t answered, the scammers often leave an “urgent” callback request.
- Demanding payment for a “Federal Student Tax.” – Scammers continue to use varied strategies to trick people, in this case, In this newest twist, they try to convince people to wire money immediately to the scammer. If the victim does not fall quickly enough for this fake “federal student tax”, the scammer threatens to report the student to the police.
- “Verifying” tax return information over the phone – The latest variation in the last few weeks tries to play off the current tax season. Scam artists call saying they have your tax return, and they just need to verify a few details to process your return. The scam tries to get you to give up personal information such as a Social Security number or personal financial information, such as bank numbers or credit cards.
- IRS Email Schemes – The Internal Revenue Service renewed a consumer alert for e-mail schemes after seeing an approximate 400 percent surge in phishing and malware incidents so far this tax season.
The emails are designed to trick taxpayers into thinking these are official communications from the IRS or others in the tax industry, including tax software companies. The phishing schemes can ask taxpayers about a wide range of topics. E-mails can seek information related to refunds, filing status, confirming personal information, ordering transcripts and verifying PIN information.
Variations of these scams can be seen via text messages, and the communications are being reported in every section of the country.
The IRS will never:
- Call to demand immediate payment over the phone, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill.
- Threaten to immediately bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.
- Demand that 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, gift card or wire transfer.
- Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS and asking for money and you don’t owe taxes, here’s what you should do:
- Do not give out any information. Hang up immediately.
- Contact us immediately
If you have any questions about your taxes call Tannery & Company immediately and speak with either Summer Wilkinson CPA, CDFA® or myself. Let us work with you to resolve the issue and possible confusion.
Enjoy as Spring in North Texas begins to take hold,
Michael Tannery CPA, CDFA® AIF®
Tannery & Company
Tax – Accounting – Wealth Management
Be A Financial Olympian™