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IRS Warns Against Phone Scam Targeting Tax Payers

IRS Warns Against Phone Scams Targeting Tax Payers

 

Tax time is certainly not looked forward to by the majority of Americans, but it seems that there may be more than one reason for this. The IRS has been taking extra care to warn taxpayers of a phone scam that has been wrecking havoc for a few months now. In fact, the department describes it as being ‘particularly aggressive’ showing that tax payers cannot afford to be lax about it.

 

Scam seems to be primarily targeting immigrants

 

Immigrants face the biggest risk of being victimized by this scam, the IRS cautions. The victim is typically threatened with severe legal implications including arrest, deportation, revocation of driving license if they do not immediately pay their ‘dues’ to the IRS. At times, the scammers try a new approach, ‘intimating’ the victim of  a huge refund from the IRS which may be a bid to get personal information from them. Many victims have reported that  they have received more than one call from the scammers with a new tack being tried when one fails. The scammers are often aggressive and insulting, clearly hoping to intimidate the victim into compliance.

 

Educate your clients about the IRS’s methods of communication

 

One of the simplest yet most effective ways in which you can keep your clients safe from this scam is to educate them about the IRS’s chosen methods of communication. The IRS typically sends taxpayers written notifications through U.S. mail if they have tax dues to be paid. No information about the taxpayer’s credit card, debit card or any other kind of prepaid card is taken by IRS officials over phone at any time.

 

If your client has been contacted over phone by someone claiming to be an IRS official, there is a chance that it may be a fraudulent call. The victims of this particular scam have reported that the scammers are even able to give the last four digits of their social security number, which generally convinces the tax payer of the caller’s credentials. The caller may even give a fake IRS badge number to make himself appear genuine to the victim. 

 

The IRS has issued a public interest notice that any such scams should be brought to the notice of the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. For those clients who are unsure about their actual dues, clarifications will be given if they contact the IRS directly via their official phone lines.

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