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The Tax Scam Man

Sunday, March 1st, 2015 | Uncategorized | No Comments

You may have been one of the thousands of individuals who have received a call from an individual who identified himself or herself as employees of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). They are contacting you regarding unpaid taxes you owe the IRS, and if you do not pay the taxes now by credit card or bank draft, you are going to be arrested by your local police. The caller makes serious threats of the consequences of not paying your taxes immediately. They generally ask you for your social security number, threaten to have you arrested or deported by your local police, and ask you to pay using a credit or debit card or possibly to have the funds drafted from your bank account.

If the scammer is successful in obtaining your social security number, it is likely they will attempt to steal your identity or sell your personal information to an identity thief. Oftentimes the caller is able to provide you with the last four digits of your social security number. This suggests the caller may be actually from the IRS since they seem to already have part of your personal information. The caller is often capable of spoofing the IRS toll-free number on caller ID to make it appear that it is the IRS calling.

If the scammer is successful in getting your credit or debit card numbers or the PIN for your checking account, they will likely siphon as much money from your accounts as possible. The scammers often threaten jail time or revocation of your driver’s license, hang up, and others soon call back pretending to be from the local police or DMV, supported by the caller ID.

The scammers are believed to be from overseas, and if they are successful in getting money from you, it is unlikely you will ever see your money again. Individuals who have provided confidential financial details to scammers have had their bank accounts cleaned out and experienced charges to their credit cards. The caller may suggest you only owe a small amount of taxes, such as a few hundred dollars. However, when they get access to your accounts, they take thousands of dollars.

“These telephone scams are being seen in every part of the country, and we urge people not to be deceived by these threatening phone calls,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “We have formal processes in place for people with tax issues.”

The scammer does several things the IRS will never do:
» Threaten to have you arrested by the local police, or deported, if you do not pay immediately
» Call and demand immediate payment by credit or debit card
» Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount you owe
» Ask for PINs, passwords, or similar confidential access information for credit card, bank, or other financial accounts

The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email or phone to request personal or financial information. If you receive an official looking but suspicious looking email, do not open any attachments or click on any links in the email. You should forward the email to phishing@irs.gov. The IRS will then investigate the source of the email.

If you receive a phone call from someone pretending to be from the IRS and you don’t owe any taxes for any reason, call and report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 1-800-366-4484. If you may owe the IRS some taxes or have some doubts, you should also call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040.

Identity theft has become a serious problem. To avoid identify theft, you should:
» File your taxes early (before the cons beat you to it)
» Do not give out personal information to someone you do not know
» Shred personal and financial documents

If the scammer obtains your social security number, they file a bogus tax return in your name before you do and collect a refund check from the IRS. The IRS estimates that it sent out nearly three million fraudulent refunds, totaling more than $5.2 billion, to con artists in 2013. You often are unaware you are a victim of such a scam until you file your taxes and the IRS responds that your social security number has already filed and received a refund.

Protect your identity and your personal data from would be scammers. Use common sense and be defensive if someone calls you pretending to be from the IRS and asks for your personal data.

If you need assistance, contact us here at Warren & Tallent CPAs PLLC. Our Sweetwater phone number is (423) 337-5003 and our Madisonville phone number is (423) 442-3890. You can also send us an email by going to our website at www.wandtcpa.com.

Warren & Tallent CPAs PLLC

606C South Main Street in Sweetwater
(423) 337-5003

409 North College Street, Suite 2 in Madisonville
(423) 442-3890


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East Tennessee's Mountain Views

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