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CONSUMER ALERTS

 

IRS Tax Scams & Consumer Alerts

 

NEW ALERT MAY 2018 - IRS Warns About Fake Form Scam. Form W-8BEN targeting international taxpayers and non-resident aliens. Read more about the scam here.

 

Please read here about how Scammers are using your previous years' tax return info trick you into giving them your money.

More info from Tax Girl

More info from The Washington Post

 

Scammers are getting more and more creative in their attempts to get your money. Correspondence in the form of emails, letters and phone calls coming from (what appears to be) the IRS continues to be a serious problem. The IRS is not allowed to request taxpayer information by email, even during an audit or other procedure requiring communications. If you receive an email that appears to be from the IRS, delete it and use your “Spam-block” feature to block future emails from the address if you can. If you receive a phone call from someone claiming to be with the IRS, do not give out your information. Hang up and call the IRS directly at (800) 829-1040. The IRS will never request your bank information, credit card number or pin over the phone or by email.

The IRS says, "if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is! In recent years, thousands of people have lost millions of dollars and their personal information to tax scams and fake IRS communication. This page looks at the scams affecting individuals, businesses, and tax professionals and what do if you if you spot a tax  scam. 

REMEMBER: The IRS doesn't initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text messages or social media channels to request personal or financial information.  In addition, IRS does not threaten taxpayers with lawsuits, imprisonment or other enforcement action.  Being able to recognize these tell-tale signs of a phishing or tax scam could save you from becoming a victim."

To ensure your safety, Bayley Davis recommends:

 

  • NEVER give out your personal information over the phone, unless you initiated the call

  • NEVER click on a link in an email even if it is from a "trusted source". Scammers are skilled at hacking your friends' accounts and mimicking otherwise safe websites. Rather than clicking on links, open a browser and type in the address you would normally use to access the site.

  • ALWAYS trust your gut. If you suspect fraud, hang up the phone immediately! The IRS has nothing to sell to you. If it feels like a high pressure sales pitch, chances are it's not the IRS.

More information on IRS scams                            IRS Scam Reporting Form

Here are some useful articles to help you plan for safety:

"Don't Get Sucked In By These 2017 Scams" - Motley Fool

"As Tax Season Begins, Avoid These 5 Common Scams" - CNBC


 

Archived Alerts:

September 2015 - IRS warns of new scam, reminds consumers to beware of fake emails, phone calls or letters

 

The Internal Revenue Service is warning consumers about a new scam involving thieves who are posing as IRS employees.

 

In the latest scam, consumers are being told they supposedly have under-reported income and must make an immediate tax payment.

 

"If you receive a threatening call out of the blue from someone who says you must pay your IRS tax bill immediately or else -- assume it's a scam," said IRS spokesman Jennifer Jenkins...

 

Variations of this scam involve thieves calling consumers -- often posing as the FBI or IRS -- and threatening arrest or property seizure if the taxpayer doesn't make an immediate payment by phone. In many cases, the scammer knows the person's name and other personal information.

 

But consumers are becoming more savvy about the "scam calls," the IRS said today, so now thieves have started mailing, faxing or emailing fraudulent letters or notices that appear to be from the IRS.

 

Click here for more information from the IRS.

 

 

March 2014 - The Catholic Archdiocese of Seattle has been hacked

 

Earlier this month the Catholic Archdiocese of Seattle reported that they had been hacked and that all of the SSNs on record have been stolen. They report that they have contacted all victims and potential victims and that the list is limited to employees, former employees, volunteers and people with children who attend their schools. The IRS reports that in some cases fraudulent tax returns have already been filed and in the other cases, they have reported “suspicious activity” on some accounts. Victims may not be able to efile this year (and may not be able to efile for years after).

 

Our advice to individuals who fall victim to ANY ID theft is to immediately alert the state attorney general’s office, all credit and debit card companies and banks, the credit bureaus and file Form 14039 Identity Theft Affidavit with the IRS alerting them that either: option 1) I am a victim of identity theft and it is affecting my federal tax records OR option 2) I have experienced an event involving my personal information that may at some future time affect my federal tax records. We recommend that couples file the form individually even if you are filing taxes jointly.

 

Our understanding is that the IRS will not issue ID Theft PINs for efiling until two fraudulent filings have occurred.  We can help you through the process to ensure you successfully file your returns with the IRS. Contact us for more information.

 

Contact the Archdiocese for more information or to see if your information has been compromised.

 

Click here for more information from the IRS on how to protect your identity.