Dealing with the IRS can be difficult, and when most people receive something from the IRS, an immediate panic sets in. That feeling of panic is something that scammers have taken notice of, and year after year, we have seen thousands of scammers trying to grift millions of dollars from the taxpaying public. There are a few signs to be on the lookout for when you suspect you’re dealing with an IRS impersonator. If you think that you have fallen victim to an IRS scam, then contact the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration through their website or if you’re dealing with a tax issue, then contact the resident tax expert here at Inside Out Tax. Here are three common IRS scams to be on the lookout for this year.
One of the most common scams where individuals try to pose as the IRS to intimidate you into giving up your personal data is through phishing scams. A phishing scam is when a person sends you an e-mail posing as someone else to try to obtain private information from you. One of the most common IRS phishing scams has been an e-mail campaign where the scammer calls out the recipient by name, claiming that there has been a discrepancy on their return and that they have a tax liability which is due immediately or that they need your Social Security Number or other personal data. It is important to remember that the IRS will never contact you via e-mail and that they typically start with letters sent through the mail. If you receive an e-mail from anyone claiming to be with the IRS do not respond to them and do not give out any personal data. You should also refrain from clicking on any unsolicited or embedded links.
Phone Call Scams
Another common scam is where someone will call you claiming to be from the IRS trying to push you or scare you into giving out sensitive data or even have you make a payment against past due taxes. Many times they will claim that if you don’t pay up, then they’ll issue a warrant for your arrest. While the IRS can reach out by phone, they will typically communicate through regular mail. Only if you’ve had an ongoing issue that has gone unresolved for a while will they reach out in person or over the phone.
Social Media Scams
In the age of social media, scammers have taken to every avenue to trick you out of information or money. One of the most common scams of the past year took place on social media, where scammers claimed to be from the IRS trying to help individuals get their refund or stimulus payment. While the IRS has a social media presence, they will not reach out to you in this way. Ignore any direct messages from these outlets.
At the end of the day, if you think you may have been targeted by a scammer posing as someone from the IRS or have an outstanding tax issue, then contact Inside Out Tax today.