Monday, October 24, 2016

SCAM UPDATE- IRS Scam, Referendum Scam, Credit Repair Scams

IRS Scam in the mail. Earlier this month I talked about an IRS scam that sent emails purportedly from the IRS. The email claimed to be a CP2000 notice and claimed that the person receiving it owed taxes under the Affordable Care Act (  The AARP Fraud Watch Network says that this bogus notice is now being sent via the U.S. Postal Service. Up to now, IRS scammers have not used the mail to extract money from victims. The IRS still exclusively uses the U.S. mail for initial contacts with taxpayers. With this scam now in the mails, if you receive a notice from the IRS, take some extra time to examine it. Some tip offs that this notice is not genuine are:

·       In the case of a CP2000 notice, the IRS would not claim that you owe a specific amount. It would give you a phone number to call to resolve a discrepancy that it has found in income or payment information that has been reported by your employer and information that you reported on your tax return.

·       When you pay your federal income tax or late penalties or fees, you pay the US Treasury, not the IRS.

·      The IRS does not have you send mail to a post office box, they have you send mail directly to an IRS address.

AARP Fraud Watch Network:

Results of Arrests of Mumbai, India Scammers. Earlier this month, the mass arrest of IRS scammers in Mumbai, India made the news. The scammers, from call centers, would call victims threatening financial penalties, lawsuits and arrests if they did not pay back taxes right away. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) reports that it has seen a dramatic reduction in reports from consumers of this IRS scam. It says that in a typical week, its BBB Scam Tracker receives about 200 reports of the scam. Since the mass arrests in India, it has only received 11 reports of the IRS scam in the past week. That is almost a 95% decrease.


Fake “Referendum” Scam. According to the Better Business Bureau, a letter to senior citizens is going around the country claiming that Congress is trying to end Social Security and the organization that sent the letter needs a donation from you, by check or credit card, to fight for Social Security. The organization says that it is sending a referendum nationwide to keep Social Security.

·       This notice is an attempt to scare you into action. To put you under the “either” as a scammer would put it. And seniors are an especially vulnerable target because many rely on their Social Security payments for their daily living needs.

·        The request for a check or your credit card information opens you to identity theft.

·        The letter talks about a referendum campaign in “counties across America.” This is nonsensical language because we do not conduct national referenda. Referenda are conducted at the local and state level for local and state issues.


Credit Report Scams. If you need help with sorting out your debt, you may look for help from a credit repair company. However, many credit repair companies use confusing or misleading advertising to bring in customers.

Here are some red flags to steer clear of:

·         Companies that demand payment up front.

·         Deals that sound too good to be true.

·         Companies with representatives who cannot answer questions.

·         Companies that hold back or provide misinformation.

·         Companies that ask you to misrepresent information.

For more information, go to,

Consumer Financial Protect Bureau:

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