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Latest Telephone and Email Scams PDF Print E-mail
Written by Norton Gappy   
Scammers are very creative.  They will find just about every way to gain your trust and lure you into a scam to take your identity and your money.  And, if you are not careful, you could become their next victim.  The information in this article is based on information found at IRS.gov.  Specifically, this article is a summary of the latest scams using the IRS name.  For more details, please visit IRS.gov for the article titled IRS Warns of New E-Mail and Telephone Scams Using the IRS Name; Advance Payment Scams Starting.
 

Here are the most recent scams using the IRS name:

Advance Payment Check Scam:  Beware of mailings or phone calls offering to provide you with an advancement of your economic stimulus payment.  The scammer’s goal is to obtain your private financial information such as your name, address, social security number, bank routing and account numbers.  As of now, the only way to obtain an economic stimulus payment is to file a 2007 federal income tax return and qualify under the statute’s rules.

Imagine how much damage a scammer can do to your bank account, reputation, tax returns, credit, and your potential job opportunities, if s/he has access to your private financial information.  This scam can be perpetuated by letter or by phone and the scammer may be using a remote location inside or outside the U.S.

Rebate Phone Call Scam:  IRS stated that they are aware of at least one scheme were the scammer used the phrase “rebate” as part of their deceptive lure.  Again, the scammer request your private financial information so that s/he can electronically send you your “rebate.”  This phone call is a scam.  There is no requirement for taxpayers to use direct deposit to obtain stimulus payment or tax refunds.

Refund E-Mail Scam:  NoteTHE IRS DOES NOT SEND UNSOLICITED EMAILS about tax matters to individuals or businesses.  This refund e-mail scam states that the email recipient is to click on a link and fill-out a refund claim form.  Of course, the refund claim form asks for your private financial information such as name, address, social security number, and banking information.

Audit E-Mail Scam:  Imagine getting an email stating that you are being audited.  Again, this email is phony.  Emails such as this usually require you to fill-out a form providing your private financial information.  If the IRS wants to examine your tax returns, they will send you a letter with the name of the Agent in charge of your audit, their contact information and badge number.  An examination/audit letter will not ask for your direct deposit information.

Changes to Tax Law E-Mail Scam:  This is another phone email scam which is usually addressed to tax professionals and businesses.  These emails usually list a series of links to access publications on tax updates.  The IRS believes that clicking on the links may download malware (viruses) onto the recipient’s computer.

Paper Check Phone Call Scam:  In this scam, the scammer states that s/he works for the IRS and wants to know why you have not cashed the refund check.  The scammer usually asks to verify your bank account information.  Note:  the IRS does not contact taxpayers to make sure you cash your refund.  This is your responsibility.  If you don’t cash your refund, you simply don’t get it.

Watch out for:

1.    Phone calls from scammers with foreign accents.
2.    Letters in multiple colors and with numerous misspellings.
3.    Phone calls or emails requesting private financial information such as name, address, social security numbers, and bank account access information.
4.    Some letters were even fraudulently signed by the Director of the IRS. 

What you can do:

1.    Forward suspicious emails to This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it and by following IRS instructions.    

2.    Call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 to verify any suspicious activity or to check on your tax account.  

3.    Contact the Attorney General’s office to review the suspicious activity.               

4.    Call your Certified Public Accountant or Attorney.  Give them power of attorney to review suspicious requests for information and to discuss your tax account with the IRS.

For additional information, also check out the following:

Legalnut’s Tax Law Forums

Office of Critical Infrastructure Protection and Compliance Policy

Federal Trade Commission’s Identity Theft Website

Onguard Online

USA.gov

Social Security Administration

 
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