As the New Year begins and the income tax filing season approaches, taxpayers need to ready themselves for tax scams in 2018.
Cybercriminals typically increase their activity in the first part of the year through phone scams and email phishing schemes. These scammers try to obtain personal information using different tricks and tactics so they can file income tax returns and claim refunds on behalf of unsuspecting taxpayers. Some scammers may also allege a taxpayer owes taxes and aggressively demand payment for a quick payout.
Taxpayers need to be extra alert for possible scams and schemes during this time of year and throughout the income tax filing season, when taxpayers proactively look for scams, they are less likely to be a victim of a tax-related identity theft and other cybercriminal activities.
IRS Department of Treasury will never:
1. Initiate a phone call or email to ask for personal information.
2. Call or email to demand immediate payment using a specific payment method, such as a prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer. Generally, Treasury will first send a bill through the U.S. mail to any taxpayer who owes taxes.
3. Threaten to immediately bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have the taxpayer arrested for not paying.
4. Demand that taxes be paid without giving the taxpayer the opportunity to question or appeal the amount owed.
5. Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
Cybercriminals often alter caller ID numbers and emails to make it look like the Internal Revenue Service or another official agency is contacting a taxpayer. Scammers may use employee titles, a person’s name, address and other personal information to sound official.
Taxpayers who are contacted by a scammer should immediately cease the call or delete the email.
Taxpayers who have received a call or email from a scammer should report the case to the IRS through the web or by calling 800-366-4484. If you have questions feel free to call our office today.