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Those Tricky Tax Scammers

Elder Abuse Security & ID Theft Tax

Tax season officially opens today, so you can expect the scammers to step-up their game. A lot of these interactions contain dead giveaways, but the slimeballs are getting more sophisticated...and it's obviously "working" given the growth of this problem. You can protect yourself by being aware that the IRS will never:

  • email you as a first contact to demand tax payment or ask you to click on a "form" to claim a refund
  • call to demand immediate payment, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill [5/7/2016 update: Contrary to commonly understood practices, apparently in some cases the IRS has been initiating audits by phone call without first mailing a notice. See: Fears Over Taxpayer Confusion Mount After It's Revealed IRS Might Be Calling You After All]
  • demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe
  • require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card
  • ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone, or
  • threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying

Check out these links for additional information:

Tax Season Opens Today And The Scammers Are Ready (Kelly Phillips Erb, Forbes)

IRS Warns of Pervasive Telephone Scam (IRS)

Tax Scams/Consumer Alerts (IRS)

Tax Scams (IRS YouTube videos)