Don’t Fall Victim to “IRS” Telephone Scams
Some of our clients have been contacted by telephone scammers claiming to be from the IRS trying to collect on past taxes that our clients’ didn’t know they owed. DO NOT TALK TO THESE SCAMMERS, BECAUSE THEY ARE TRYING TO STEAL YOUR LIFE SAVINGS!
The IRS has issued public service announcements warning of these “sophisticated and aggressive phone scams”. The scammers have threatened people across the country with wage garnishments, bank levies, liens and even arrest. They use fake names and IRS badge numbers. These scammers are sophisticated, often showing the real IRS toll-free number on caller ID to make it appear that it’s the IRS calling. They may even be able to recite the last four digits of your Social Security number.
The scammers may threaten you with jail or to send the sheriff to your home. They may call back later pretending to be from the local police and the caller ID seems to support their claim. Some even follow up with bogus emails to support their bogus calls.
If you receive one of these calls. DO NOT GIVE THE SCAMMER ANY OF YOUR INFORMATION. They are trying to empty your bank and financial accounts and make purchases on your credit cards. They are also trying to steal your identity in order to open new credit cards and loans using your name; commit crimes using your identity and file fraudulent tax returns to receive tax refunds.
If your identity is stolen, not only could your life savings be taken, but you could spend months cleaning up the mess the scammers have made of your good name and credit record. You could also be refused loans; lose out on job opportunities or even arrested for crimes you didn’t commit.
If you’re worried that the caller may actually be from the IRS, call us and we’ll verify whether you owe any back taxes.
The IRS warns of other techniques that the scammers are using to impersonate the IRS or the Department of Treasury, such as emails and texts. Beware of emails or texts that contain an enticing or intimidating subject line, such as “tax refund”, “inherited funds” or “IRS notice” and directs you to click on a link or to open an attachment.
WARNING: DO NOT OPEN ANY ATTACHMENTS OR CLICK ON ANY LINKS in the email. The clicked link may lead you to a fake IRS Web site with an official looking logo of the IRS or the Department of the Treasury to mislead you into believing that it is legitimate. You are then prompted to enter your personal financial data for verification purposes. Or worse, the link or attachment may install malicious malware that will infect your computer, giving scammers remote access to your financial data.
The IRS says that it does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email, texting or any social media, stating you are being electronically audited or that you are getting a refund. It never asks for personal financial information, such as Social Security Numbers, bank account numbers, credit or debit card information, PIN numbers or passwords over the phone, by email, text or through social media.
The IRS always sends written notification of any tax due via the U.S. mail and before it can garnish wages or levy bank accounts, it must, generally, give notice (usually by certified mail, not by phone calls).
Whenever you receive a phone call, email or letter that you suspect may be fraudulent from the IRS, a State taxing agency or Secretary of State claiming you need to pay more money in taxes or a filing fee to stay in business, PLEASE forward or fax it to our office. We will look into it.