Don’t Fall for These Scams! IRS – List of Tax Scams for The 2016 Filing Season

Irs Scam Danger Sign

Many people all over the world have fallen into the trap of a scam or a fraud from a criminal. Every day, our society becomes more intelligent while technology in our world advances. But, we aren’t the only ones who are getting smarter; criminals are getting smarter at scamming people every day as well.

Let us give you a story that we heard from one of our clients. Let’s pretend that our client’s name is Jenny. Jenny makes a lot of money with her business, but she also spends a lot of money as well. Unfortunately, her spending problems seem to be endless, and since she does not have anyone to monitor her spending, she does not know or realize how much she is accumulating. One day during tax season, she received a phone call from an IRS representative stating that she needed to file her taxes soon, and also stated that she owed $30,000. With fear, she became very frightened and astounded by the hefty amount she had to pay. Luckily, she knew she had money in her bank account who could save her. After saying that she was able to pay her debt, the representative proceeded on to say that she must withdraw that money from her bank and hand it to one of the representatives who will pick it up from her. She did as she was told, however, during the second that she was withdrawing $30,000 in cash from her bank account, she suddenly realized that, there was no way an IRS representative would just pick up money from a bank, nor receive phone calls from a representative. She calls the police, and told them what happened. The police said that they would come, but also told her to give the money to the representative anyway. With confusion, she did as she was told. When the representative arrived, she gave the money to him, but suddenly… A whole flock of police came out and arrested the representative. It was a scam after all.

This is one type of scam that has been outdated, but let’s look at the more recent ways scammers take taxpayer money.

IRS States: “Taxpayers across the nation face a deluge of these aggressive phone scams. Don’t be fooled by callers pretending to be from the IRS in an attempt to steal your money,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “We continue to say if you are surprised to be hearing from us, then you’re not hearing from us.”

This January, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) announced they have received reports of roughly 896,000 contacts since October 2013 and have become aware of over 5,000 victims who have collectively paid over $26.5 million as a result of the scam.

Scammers make unsolicited calls claiming to be IRS officials. They demand that the victim pay a bogus tax bill. They con the victim into sending cash, usually through a prepaid debit card or wire transfer. They may also leave “urgent” callback requests through phone “robo-calls,” or via a phishing email.

Many phone scams use threats to intimidate and bully a victim into paying. They may even threaten to arrest, deport or revoke the license of their victim if they don’t get the money.

Scammers often alter caller ID numbers to make it look like the IRS or another agency is calling. The callers use IRS titles and fake badge numbers to appear legitimate. They may use the victim’s name, address and other personal information to make the call sound official.

Here are five things the scammers often do but the IRS will not do. Any one of these five things is a tell-tale sign of a scam.

The IRS will never:

  • Call to demand immediate payment, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill.
  • 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.
  • Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
  • Threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.

If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS and asking for money, here’s what you should do:

If you don’t owe taxes, or have no reason to think that you do:

  • Do not give out any information. Hang up immediately.
  • Contact TIGTA to report the call. Use their “IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting” web page. You can also call 800-366-4484.
  • Report it to the Federal Trade Commission. Use the “FTC Complaint Assistant” on FTC.gov. Please add “IRS Telephone Scam” in the notes.

If you know you owe, or think you may owe tax:

  • Call the IRS at 800-829-1040. IRS workers can help you.

Stay alert to scams that use the IRS as a lure. Tax scams can happen any time of year, not just at tax time. For more, visit “Tax Scams and Consumer Alerts” on IRS.gov.

Each and every taxpayer has a set of fundamental rights they should be aware of when dealing with the IRS. These are your Taxpayer Bill of Rights. Explore your rights and our obligations to protect them on IRS.gov.

***BASED ON IRS.GOV***

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