PHOENIX, Arizona (KTAB/KRBC) – In a press release, the IRS issued a warning against an increase in tax scams over the summer.
Even though tax filing season is over for most, people are being advised to remain on alert for continuing tax scams.
The press release outlined some of the more common scams they have encountered.
The Electronic Federal Tax Payment System scam involves a call demanding payment through certain prepaid debit cards. If payment is not received the scammer threatens immediate arrest, and victims are warned not to contact any officials until payment is made.
In private debt collection scams, scammers pose as private collection firms.The release states that IRS-authorized firms will only call about tax debt a person has had for years, and the IRS would have previously contacted the person.
In “robo-call” scams, con artists leave pre-recorded messages asking victims to call back or a warrant will be issued for their arrest. Those who do call back are told to make immediate payment through a specified pre-paid card.
The IRS is also warning of scams targeting those with limited English proficiency.
Scams can be identified several ways. First, the IRS does not use prepaid cards or wire transfers to make payments. If someone asks for these methods, they are a scam. Threatening to immediately contact law enforcement if payment is not made is not a practice of the IRS. If a person is not given the opportunity to appeal or question the amount owed, then the call is a scam. Also, the IRS will not ask for credit card information over the phone.
If a person believes they have been targeted by a scam, there are many options available to report it.
Victims can contact the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, the IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting web page, here, or call 800-366-4484.
Victims may also go to FTC.gov and use the FTC Complaint Assistant, just add “IRS Telephone Scam” in the notes section.
Most importantly, if someone believes they are being scammed, just hang up. Never give out personal information over the phone.