Aug. 6, 2015
D.C., Following the emergence of new variations of widespread
tax scams, the Internal Revenue Service today issued another
warning to taxpayers to remain on high alert and protect themselves
against the ever-evolving array of deceitful tactics scammers
use to trick people.
schemes - which can occur over the phone, in e-mails or through
letters with authentic looking letterhead - try to trick taxpayers
into providing personal financial information or scare people
into making a false tax payment that ends up with the criminal.
Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA)
has received reports of roughly 600,000 contacts since October
2013. TIGTA is also aware of nearly 4,000 victims who have
collectively reported over $20 million in financial losses
as a result of tax scams.
continue to see these aggressive tax scams across the country,Ã¢â‚¬Â
IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Scam artists specialize
in being deceptive and fooling people. The IRS urges taxpayers
to be extra cautious and think twice before answering suspicious
phone calls, emails or letters."
posing as IRS agents first targeted those they viewed as most
vulnerable, such as older Americans, newly arrived immigrants
and those whose first language is not English. These criminals
have expanded their net and are now targeting virtually anyone.
new variation, scammers alter what appears on your telephone
caller ID to make it seem like they are with the IRS or another
agency such as the Department of Motor Vehicles. They use
fake names, titles and badge numbers. They use online resources
to get your name, address and other details about your life
to make the call sound official. They even go as far as copying
official IRS letterhead for use in email or regular mail.
scammers will even provide their victims with directions to
the nearest bank or business where the victim can obtain a
means of payment such as a debit card. And in another new
variation of these scams, con artists may then provide an
actual IRS address where the victim can mail a receipt for
the payment - all in an attempt to make the scheme look official.
most common theme with these tricks seems to be fear. Scammers
try to scare people into reacting immediately without taking
a moment to think through what is actually happening.
scam artists often angrily threaten police arrest, deportation,
license revocation or other similarly unpleasant things. They
may also leave Ã¢â‚¬Å“urgentÃ¢â‚¬Â callback requests, sometimes
through Ã¢â‚¬Å“robo-calls,Ã¢â‚¬Â via phone or email. The
emails will often contain a fake IRS document with a telephone
number or email address for your reply.
important to remember the official IRS website is IRS.gov
. Taxpayers are urged not to be confused or misled
by sites claiming to be the IRS but ending in .com, .net,
.org or other designations instead of .gov.Ã‚Â Taxpayers should
never provide personal information, financial or otherwise,
to suspicious websites or strangers calling out of the blue.
are five things scammers often do that the real IRS would
IRS will never:
immediate payment over the phone, nor will the agency call
about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill.
•Threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement
groups to have you arrested for not paying.
•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.
what you should do if you think you're the target of an IRS
•If you actually
do owe taxes, call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040. IRS workers
can help you with a payment issue.
•If you know you don’t owe taxes or do not immediately
believe that you do, you can report the incident to the:
Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA)
you’ve been targeted by any scam, be sure to contact
the Federal Trade Commission and use their “
Complaint Assistant ” at FTC.gov.
add “IRS Telephone Scam” to the comments of your
more information on reporting tax scams, go to IRS.gov
and type "scam" in the search box.
OFFICE WARNS OF INCREASED PHONE SCAMS
By Chelsea Shar T-G Staff Writer Published: January 29, 2015
County Sheriff's Office dispatchers said there have been more
phone scams reported than usual in the past several weeks,
especially preying on senior citizens. Dispatcher Sue Schaub
said the center has been receiving about 10 calls per day
in the past few weeks reporting phone scams.
calls have similar stories -- they are all based on lies.
Sometimes seniors will be told their grandchild is in jail
and needs bailed out, asking for a bank account number. Other
common calls come from someone claiming to be from the Internal
Revenue Service, stating the person has misfiled their taxes
at some point in the past and needs to pay the balance or
will be ordered to appear in court or even arrested by the
reputable company or organization will contact you for money
over the phone," Sheriff E. Wayne Risner said. He said
there also has been an increase in the county recently of
people who have reported they did not know the call was a
scam and had money taken from their bank accounts.
money is stolen, the only thing we can do is take a report.
It's impossible to track these people," Risner said.
scam calls come from untraceable, prepaid phones, Schaub said.
Dispatcher Jim Strickling said people should listen carefully
to incoming calls for mispronunciations or grammar use by
the callers. "They often have a different accent or dialect,"
he said. Strickling said he often refers scam call victims
to the Ohio Attorney General's office after making a report.
General Mike DeWine has led an initiative to educate people
about phone scams and has education materials available at
Ashland Public Library.
phone calls come from all over the country. Some callers pretend
they are with the lottery and are calling to congratulate
the call recipient. Others involve offers for loan or credit
card rate improvements or computer virus repair over the phone.
Risner recommends residents never give out information over
the phone and report the calls to the Sheriff's Office so
reports can be filed. "Call us anytime, we want to know
when these calls come in so we can track the volume of calls,"
type of phone scam as tax season approaches is a call from
someone pretending to be with the IRS informing the recipient
they misfiled their taxes years ago and need to pay up to
to the IRS, characteristics of a scam phone call include:
may be able to recite the last four digits of a victim's Social
spoof the IRS toll-free number on caller ID to make it appear
that it's the IRS calling.
sometimes send bogus IRS emails to some victims to support
their bogus calls.
hear background noise of other calls being conducted to mimic
a call site.
threatening victims with jail time or driver's license revocation,
scammers hang up and others soon call back pretending to be
from the local police or DMV, and the caller ID supports their
To inquire about
personal tax issues and whether or not a call is legitimate,
contact the IRS help line at 1-800-829-1040.
Chelsea Shar can
be reached at 419-281-0581, ext. 240, or at email@example.com.