The Internal Revenue Service has issued a warning to taxpayers, urging them to be wary of an influx of IRS imposter scams which use “robo-calls” and other new strategies to demand payments.
Recently there has been an increase in automated phone calls in which scam artists leave messages urging taxpayers to call back and resolve their “tax bill”. These fraudulent calls allege that they are the last alert before legal action is taken. Taxpayers may be threatened with arrest, deportation, or revocation of their driver’s license when they attempt to settle their fake bill with these imposters.
As part of the latest scam tactic, impostors are requesting payments on iTunes and other gift cards. The IRS warns taxpayers that any demand for payment through a gift card, prepaid debit card, or wire transfer is a telltale sign of fraudulence. Other indications of faux-IRS scamming include:
- Soliciting payment for a “Federal Student Tax”
- “Verifying” tax return information over the phone
- Acquiring W-2 information through human resource professionals
In addition, the IRS will never:
- Demand payment over the phone immediately
- Call about taxes owed without mailing a notice first
- Threaten to enlist police or other law-enforcement personnel to have you arrested
- Order you to pay taxes without giving you the chance to question or appeal the amount
- Request credit or debit card numbers over the pone
If you receive a suspicious call from somebody claiming to be an IRS agent asking for money, promptly hang up and do not disclose any information. You may also contact us with any concerns you have about such a phone call and we will be happy to assist.
The IRS is also warning taxpayers about email schemes. Taxpayers have been falling victim to phishing and malware emails that can pull information related to refunds, filing status, SSN, and other personal information.
The IRS generally does not contact taxpayers via email to request personal information. Other reported types of phishing has been through text message and social media channels. Common subject lines used in these phishing emails are:
- Variations of your tax refunds
- Updates on filing details
- Confirmation of personal information
- “Get my IP PIN”
- “Get my E-file PIN”
- “Order a transcript”
- “Complete your tax return information”
If you receive a suspicious email that you feel may be a scam relating to your taxes, feel free to forward to us and we can verify its authenticity.