Unfortunately, there are many individuals and even whole companies that operate tax scams. Scammers usually pretend to work for the IRS and they often use scare tactics to get taxpayers to reveal personal identification information or to pay them large sums of money. Here are some examples of known tax scams.
Posing as an IRS employee, someone might try to intimidate you into giving them cash or sharing your Social Security number by stating that you owe money on overdue taxes and one that of the following actions will happen to you if you do not pay immediately: A warrant for your arrest will be put out; Your driver’s license will be revoked; or, Your immigration status will be reported.
If you get a call like this, do not listen to the person on the other line, even if the caller ID resembles a government phone number. The IRS rarely calls individuals, unless they have already sent a bill in the mail. Do not ever give out your Social Security Number over the phone.
Here is some more information to be aware of so that you do not get scammed:
Sometimes tax scammers will use less threatening tactics to try to trick you. For instance, they might email you saying that the status of your tax refund is available if you log onto a site from a provided link.
Do not do this, once you enter your information into an insecure website, your identity can easily be stolen.
Remember, the IRS never initiates contact with taxpayers through email, text messages, or social media.
More recently, scams have involved questions about government stimulus checks or offers for gift cards.
It is also important to watch out for online identity theft, as perpetrators may pose as the IRS. Watch out for these warning signs:
- If you file your taxes and the IRS claims you have already filed a tax return. In this case, a criminal may have already submitted an application in your name.
- If you create an online account and the IRS contacts you saying that there is already an account in your name. In this case, a criminal may have already created an account in your name.
Be sure to monitor any communication from the IRS, and look out for these warning signs of possible tax theft.