Learn how to identify and protect yourself from tax scams.
It’s tax scam season, so beware!
You might get a phone call from someone claiming to be an IRS agent, they will advise you that the matter they are calling about is urgent and time sensitive. He or she will inform you that they have found a fraudulent reporting or misconduct on your tax filing. They will threaten you with garnished wages and liens on your property if you don’t respond immediately. These groups of people will go as far as leaving their name and badge number, urging you to call back as soon as possible.
As legit and believable as they may sound, these messages and phone calls are in fact tax scams. It is important to learn what to look for and how to identify these fraudulent phone calls so you can protect yourself from tax scams.
Phone calls like these occur all year round but spike around tax time. IRS recently released a statement that to date 1.8 million people reported these types of phone calls and unfortunately 10,000 people got swindled out of $54 million in 2013. These numbers keep growing every year and with that more people affected by the tax scams.
Scammers will have your caller ID display IRS or another agency name. They will use fake names and badge numbers to make the phone calls sound official. Don’t be surprised if they will use your personal information in addition with your full name and address. After a few threats against you regarding your incorrect tax filing, usually, you will be presented with an option to expedite the closure of your case and having this matter resolved. This will involve an over the phone payment option using your credit card, cash card or debit card, even sending out gift cards in the mail.
Remember: IRS will never initiate contact by phone!
Protect Yourself From Tax Scams:
Don’t answer unfamiliar number or phone calls
Never give out your personal information over the phone
Don’t return voicemails that advise of tax misconduct and use threats
Check your credit report every month. Credit Karma is a great free website to do so.
Call 1-800-366-4484 to report any scams
Get Nomorobo which is a free service that blocks robocalls and telemarketers