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Monday, October 26, 2015

IRS SCAM– A New Wrinkle to Take Your Money

Criminals are flexible. They try different ways to take your money. If the door is locked and they cannot kick it in, they will find an unlocked window to come into your house instead.

Apparently, enough people are getting wise to the phone calls from scammers impersonating IRS agents that the scammers have started a new method to take your money. According to the AARP, IRS scammers continue to call either “live” or with robocalls. But in addition, they are also sending falsified forms through the mail or by fax to try to reinforce the fear and their credibility. They can easily copy legitimate IRS forms and use them for their fraudulent purposes.

As of August, there has been at least $20 million in consumer losses because of the IRS scam so far this year and 600,000 consumers have reported to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) that they have been contacted by an IRS scammer.

According to AARP analysis, people are wising up to the scam, at least somewhat. By sending fake notices in the mail, scammers look more legitimate and they think that they can be more effective in getting money out of their victims. After all, law enforcement agencies have been pointing out that the IRS does not make a first contact by phone, but will send you notices by mail.

So, it might pay you to be suspicious of notices supposedly received from the IRS. If you want to be sure that an IRS notice is legitimate call 1-800-829-1040 or go to your nearest IRS office (https://www.irs.gov/uac/Contact-Your-Local-IRS-Office-1).

The IRS will not:

·         Ask for payment with a prepaid debit card or wire transfer. These payment methods are hard to trace, can be redeemed anywhere around the world, and of course are preferred by the scammers.

·         Demand immediate payment over the phone.

·         Threaten you with arrest by local law enforcement for not paying
 

AARP Fraud Watch Network:


 

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