During tax season, one of the scams involves the theft of social security numbers. Scammers use the social security numbers to produce false tax returns and apply for illegal refunds.
But one of the more developed scams can be executed year-round and victimizes taxpayers in a fairly straightforward manner. Cons call taxpayers claiming to be IRS agents. The callers insist that the taxpayers owe substantial back taxes and instruct the taxpayers to forward payments by electronic transfer. If the taxpayer asks for specific information or protests the debt, the caller threatens the taxpayer.
A twin of this scam is the email scam, in which the con establishes an illegal email account using an address similar to the IRS’s web address and intimidates taxpayers into electronic transfers of funds.
Avoid becoming a tax scam victim. Remember, the IRS mails you notices of tax liability. The IRS does not phone or email you with:
- Demands for immediate payment.
- Demands for payment without notice of the right to question or appeal.
- Demands for a specific payment method.
- Demands for a credit card number.
- Threats of law enforcement for collections.
If you receive a suspicious call from someone claiming to be from the IRS, hang up and notify the Federal Trade Commission, at 1-800-366-4484, of the incident. You can contact the IRS directly at 1-800-829-1040 if you have questions about your taxpayer status.