Friday, January 2, 2015

Tax Time: Beware of Tax Scams

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Usually most of the things discussed in our meetings at my day job are top secret but we were given permission to talk about this particular matter.  TAX SCAMS

Just so you know, I'm an Internal Revenue Service employee.  I usually don't tell people that but since I'm coming to you guys in somewhat of an official capacity, here's full disclosure.  As an IRS employee, I'm in a unique position to inform my family, friends and social media acquaintances about the aggressive and sophisticated scams from criminals claiming to be from the IRS and Department of Treasury.

Scams can take on various forms but the most common is when the perpetrators tell victims that they owe money, which they can pay through a pre-paid card.  IRS is old school and would rather receive money orders, personal and cashiers checks.  Sometimes the scam artists may tell the victim that they are due a refund but this is just an attempt to obtain personal information from the taxpayer, namely their social security number.

These scammers often threaten victims with warrants for their arrest.  

Just so you know, the IRS will never:

  • Call to demand immediate payment, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill.
  • Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
  • Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.
  • Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
  • Threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.
  • Use email, text messages or any social media to discuss your personal tax issue.

Please believe, no one from IRS will inbox you on Facebook saying that you need to make a payment or they will send the po po to your house or place of business.

If you or someone you know receives a call from somebody claiming to be from the IRS asking for money or personal information, such as a bank account or Social Security number, report it to:

  • TIGTA at 800-366-4484 or at and
  • The FTC using its FTC Complaint Assistant (add "IRS Telephone Scam" to the comments).

If you do believe that you owe taxes, you should call the IRS at 800-829-1040 for help.

For more information on tax scams, visit the Tax Scams/Consumer Alerts page on and the IRS Youtube and Tumblr pages.  Search "scam" to find all the scam-related posts.

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