Tax season is here and with that comes opportunities to scam unsuspecting taxpayers with calls requesting victims provide cash, wire transfers, gift cards, etc., to avoid warrants or arrests. Try as we do to keep people aware, as long as there are potential victims, the calls will continue. Unfortunately, several residents have reported falling victim to these types of scams.
In many incidents a victim is typically contacted by phone and told that they are delinquent on their taxes and that they would be arrested if the fees are not paid immediately.
Often victims are instructed to wire money or obtain gift cards to various retailers such as Walmart, Target, iTunes, etc. The victim then provides the numbers on the back of the card and the scammer now has access to the funds.
Please encourage your family members, neighbors, friends, coworkers and anyone else who might not be familiar with these scams to hang up at the first mention of the IRS. If it goes further, before following through with what the caller instructs, they should ask someone they trust for assistance and advice – including the police.
Be advised that, the IRS will never:
– Call to demand immediate payment using a specific payment method such as a prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer.
– Generally, the IRS will first mail you a bill if you owe any taxes.
– Threaten to immediately 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.
– Ask for credit or debit card numbers or other personal information over the phone.
Visit the IRS website for more information on tax scams and what to do.