Fraudulent tax schemes have devastated many families. From losing money to forfeiting personal information, tax scams can have a detrimental effect on a person’s life. Scammers use many means to identify and initiate contact with their targets: phone, email, social media, and regular mail.
There are a few telltale signs that your letter from the IRS is not real. Here are some of the easiest ways to tell that it is a scam.
In order to keep you safe this tax season, I’d like to outline 3 of the main tax scams: how to identify them and ways of avoiding them.
One of the most prevalent ways scammers try to trick you is through IRS impersonation phone calls. Giving a fake name and IRS identification number, these scammers try to convince you that you owe taxes to the government. Adding to the scheme, the callers often do know a lot of personal information about the target such as their name, address, and occupation.
If you find yourself on the receiving end of one of these calls, here are a few things to watch out for.
This situation illustrates what commonly happens to people on the receiving end of a scammer’s call. But they have other tricks up their sleeve. Some scammers don’t call to hound you for fake outstanding taxes, some call with the promise of a tax return. They do this in order to get you to disclose private and personal information about your taxes, credit cards, and even Social Security number.
What’s more is that these scammers even create video scams in order to try and deceive the deaf and hard of hearing.
Being aware of these common tactics will help you and your loved ones stay safe from telephone tax scammers.
There are so many scams on the internet now-- people trying to hack into your computer to obtain sensitive information. IRS tax scammers can be found here too, especially through email, phishing, and malware scams.
Phishing is pretty much exactly how it sounds, it is a tactic where people “fish” for information. This has been an increasing problem in the last few years. Here are some ways to determine if an email is just downright fishy:
Taxpayers are not the only ones who are targeted by scammers. Tax professionals are a huge market for scammers as they have a treasure trove of information. This year the IRS is warning these professionals to keep an eye out for fake payroll deposit and wire transfer emails. The IRS won’t ask for a wire transfer, that is one thing to always remember.
Business and human resource professionals also have to keep an eye out for the W-2 scam that is causing a big problem right now. This is a scam that attempts to obtain W-2 information from payroll and HR.
There are many ways that scammers try to get what they want. Understanding their tactics and behaviors will better allow you to stay clear of them. If you would like more information on these and other tax scams, visit the IRS website. Have additional questions? Contact us today. We’re happy to help.
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"Finance Made Simple" blog posts are intended for educational purposes and not for specific advice. Each person’s situation is different. Consult your financial advisor for advice relating to topics discussed.