- Pfishing: Fake emails made to look like coming from the IRS to steal personal information. IRS never contacts taxpayers by email. Don’t click on any “IRS” links
- Fake Charities—unsolicited contact from questionable charities. Have similar names to legitimate charities to fool people into giving money or financial information. Legitimate charities have an employer identification number available upon request. To see if a charity is legitimate visit the IRS charity database on IRS.gov
- Threatening phone calls from “Fake IRS Agents”. IRS does not call demanding payment. Get caller’s name, telephone number and report them to the Attorney General’s office and local police department.
- Social media impersonation. Scammers use social media account information to impersonate a trusted contact. Links provided contain malware used to steal the victim’s personal information.
- Refund theft. Criminals file false tax returns (using non filer social security numbers) and divert refunds to different addresses or accounts.
- Senior Scams, Fake emails, text messages and websites. Have trusted person help with outside communication. Scammers hate to have their activities reviewed by a third party. . .
- Dishonest tax preparers. Avoid “ghost” preparers: a tax preparer who completes a tax return but refuses to sign it as preparer. Credits and income are usually falsified to fraudulently increase refunds. Avoid if asked to sign a blank return, promised a big refund before record examination or if preparation fees are based on refund.
- Offer in compromise factories. Avoid tax resolution companies that promise to settle tax debt for anyone for “pennies on the dollar”. Only a select few qualify for this program. Applications are completed for all for an inflated fee without verifying if applicant qualifies.
- Payments with strings. . . Scammer files a false tax return and direct deposits refund into taxpayers bank account. After the direct deposit goes through, the scammer calls the taxpayer posing as an IRS employee. indicating that there has been an error and that the money needs returned immediately via gift card to prevent penalties and interest.
- Tricking employers. . By impersonating employees to get employers to change an employee’s direct deposit information or to purchase gift cards on employee’s behalf.
- Ransomware. Malware is inadvertently downloaded onto victim’s computer (e.g. “harmless link”). The program locks the victim’s computer, requiring payment to unlock. Scammers may not unlock computer after ransom is paid
Be aware . . . the attempted wallet raid continues, don’t be the one that gets scammed!