Recent reports from the Tax Administration show that over the last five years tax scams have exceeded more than $26.5 million. This year alone there has been a 400% increase in the number of phishing schemes.
Two of the most popular schemes that scammers are using are: unsolicited phone calls and phishing emails. With the phone call; the caller usually informs you of an outstanding debt and then demands that you pay immediately and if you don’t pick up they leave urgent voicemails. Phishing emails are fake emails that look like they are from an official source like the IRS but they are really a scammer trying to get you to share your personal information so they can steal from you. For both techniques the scammer is always pushing for immediate action and gives threats of additional fines, imprisonment, revocation of your license and in some case forced deportation.
Here are four things to look out for to know if you are dealing with a scammer:
The IRS will not call you to request payment if they have not first sent multiple mail notifications
The IRS will not call you to verify personal or financial information
The IRS will always give you the option to appeal or protest a tax bill
The IRS will never threaten to bring immediate law enforcement action against
If you are contacted and any of the four things listed above seem off to you, more than likely you are not dealing with the official tax authorities. If you are not sure if the request is legitimate never give your personal information, have them give you a number to call them back and notify your personal CPA if you need assistance.
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