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Thread: Are You Worried About Tax Scams and Schemes?

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    Default Are You Worried About Tax Scams and Schemes?

    From the IRS Website on US Taxpayers (could also apply to other countries as well) for you to peruse on tax scams and schemes:

    Tax Scams / Consumer Alerts

    Español

    In recent years, thousands of people have lost millions of dollars and their personal information to tax scams and fake IRS communication. Scammers use the regular mail, telephone, fax or email to set up their victims. This page looks at the different 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. Recognizing these telltale signs of a phishing or tax scam could save you from becoming a victim.
    Last-Minute Email Scams

    The IRS, state tax agencies and the tax industry urges both tax professionals and taxpayers to be on guard against suspicious activity, especially email scams requesting last-minute deposit changes for refunds or account updates.
    Recommendations for tax professionals:

    • Verbally reconfirm any change of address or direct deposit change to a refund with the client.
    • Consider changing and strengthening their email passwords to better protect email accounts used to exchange sensitive data with clients.

    Recommendations for taxpayers:

    • Learn to recognize phishing emails, calls or texts that pose as banks, credit card companies, tax software providers or even the IRS. They generally urge you to give up sensitive data such as passwords, Social Security numbers and bank or credit card accounts.
    • If you receive suspicious emails forward them to phishing@irs.gov. Remember: never open an attachment or link from an unknown or suspicious source.

    For more details see: IR-2017-64.
    Scams Targeting Taxpayers

    IRS-Impersonation Telephone Scams

    An aggressive and sophisticated phone scam targeting taxpayers, including recent immigrants, has been making the rounds throughout the country. Callers claim to be employees of the IRS, using fake names and bogus IRS identification badge numbers. They may know a lot about their targets, and they usually alter the caller ID to make it look like the IRS is calling.

    Victims are told they owe money to the IRS and it must be paid promptly through a pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer. Victims may be threatened with arrest, deportation or suspension of a business or driver’s license. In many cases, the caller becomes hostile and insulting. Or, victims may be told they have a refund due to try to trick them into sharing private information. If the phone isn't answered, the scammers often leave an “urgent” callback request.


    Some con artists have used video relay services (VRS) to try to scam deaf and hard of hearing individuals. Taxpayers are urged not trust calls just because they are made through VRS, as interpreters don’t screen calls for validity. For more details see the IRS YouTube video: Tax Scams via Video Relay Service .
    Note 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 over the phone.

    Remember: Scammers Change Tactics -- Aggressive and threatening phone calls by criminals impersonating IRS agents remain a major threat to taxpayers, but variations of the IRS impersonation scam continue year-round and they tend to peak when scammers find prime opportunities to strike.
    Surge in Email, Phishing and Malware Schemes

    When identity theft takes place over the web (email), it is called phishing. The IRS saw an approximate 400 percent surge in phishing and malware incidents in the 2016 tax season.
    The IRS has issued several alerts about the fraudulent use of the IRS name or logo by scammers trying to gain access to consumers’ financial information to steal their identity and assets.
    Scam emails are designed to trick taxpayers into thinking these are official communications from the IRS or others in the tax industry, including tax software companies. These phishing schemes may seek information related to refunds, filing status, confirming personal information, ordering transcripts and verifying PIN information.
    Variations of these scams can be seen via text messages. The IRS is aware of email phishing scams that include links to bogus web sites intended to mirror the official IRS web site. These emails contain the direction “you are to update your IRS e-file immediately.” The emails mention USA.gov and IRSgov (without a dot between "IRS" and "gov"), though not IRS.gov (with a dot). These emails are not from the IRS.
    The sites may ask for information used to file false tax returns or they may carry malware, which can infect computers and allow criminals to access your files or track your keystrokes to gain information.
    For more details, see:


    Unsolicited email claiming to be from the IRS, or from a related component such as EFTPS, should be reported to the IRS at phishing@irs.gov.
    For more information, visit the IRS's Report Phishing web page.
    Tax Refund Scam Artists Posing as Taxpayer Advocacy Panel

    Some taxpayers may are receive emails that appear to be from the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel (TAP) about a tax refund. These emails are a phishing scam, where unsolicited emails try to trick victims into providing personal and financial information. Do not respond or click any link. If you receive this scam, please forward it to phishing@irs.gov and note that it seems to be a scam email phishing for your information.;
    TAP is a volunteer board that advises the IRS on systemic issues affecting taxpayers. It never requests, and does not have access to, any taxpayer’s personal and financial information.
    Additional Recent Tax Scams

    Scammers are constantly identifying new tactics to carry out their crimes in new and unsuspecting ways. In recent years, the IRS has seen scammers use a variety of schemes to fool taxpayers into paying money or giving up personal information. Some of these include:
    Soliciting Form W-2 information from payroll and human resources professionals.
    The IRS has established a process that will allow businesses and payroll service providers to quickly report any data losses related to the W-2 scam currently making the rounds. See details at Form W2/SSN Data Theft: Information for Businesses and Payroll Service Providers. If notified in time, the IRS can take steps to prevent employees from being victimized by identity thieves filing fraudulent returns in their names. There also is information about how to report receiving the scam email.
    Employers and tax professionals should notify states of any disclosures of W-2s or other identity information by emailing StateAlert@taxadmin.org.
    As a reminder, tax professionals who experience a data breach also should quickly report the incident to the IRS. See details at Data Theft Information for Tax Professionals.
    Also see:


    Fictitious “Federal Student Tax” scam targeting students and parents and demanding payment.


    Automated calls requesting tax payments in the form of iTunes or other gift cards.


    Pretending to be from the tax preparation industry.


    Scams Targeting Tax Professionals

    Increasingly, tax professionals are being targeted by identity thieves. These criminals – many of them sophisticated, organized syndicates - are redoubling their efforts to gather personal data to file fraudulent federal and state income tax returns. The Security Summit has a campaign aimed at increasing awareness among tax professionals: Protect Your Clients; Protect Yourself.
    Recent scams targeting the tax professional community include:

    • Tax Professionals Warned of e-Services Scam.
    • Tax Professionals Warned of New Scam to [replacer_a].
    • A phishing scheme“Unlock” Tax Software Accountstargets tax professionals.
    • [replacer_a] to steal data such as PTINs, EFINs or e-Service passwords.
    • Bogus email asks tax professionals to update their IRS e-services portal information and Electronic Filing Identification Numbers (EFINs).

    Tax professionals should review Criminals target tax professionals, Safeguarding Taxpayer Data, A Guide for Your Business, which provides a checklist to help safeguard taxpayer information and enhance office security.
    How to Report Tax-Related Schemes, Scams, Identity Theft and Fraud

    To report tax-related illegal activities, refer to our IRS Warns Tax Preparers to Watch out for New Phishing Scam; Don’t Click on Strange Emails or Links Seeking Updated Information explaining the types of activity and the appropriate forms or other methods to use. You should also report instances of IRS-related phishing attempts and fraud to the Publication 4557 at 800-366-4484.
    Additional Scam-Related Information:




    IRS YouTube Videos on Tax Scams:


    Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 31-Mar-2017

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    Default Re: Are You Worried About Tax Scams and Schemes?

    thanks and good info! I went to see a tax lady just the other day with my friend and she said "be very aware of these things!" Nice you've put this out here

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    Default Re: Are You Worried About Tax Scams and Schemes?

    Thank you and you are welcome.

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    Default Re: Are You Worried About Tax Scams and Schemes?

    NO I live in Canada we always pay !
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    Default Re: Are You Worried About Tax Scams and Schemes?

    we regularly get robo calls saying the they'll send the police to arrest and throw in jail if we don't call a number and have credit card ready to make an emergency payment.

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    Default Re: Are You Worried About Tax Scams and Schemes?

    A few calls a week saying i am being monitored and will be arrested.... Almost as bad as the Microsoft scam.
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    Default Re: Are You Worried About Tax Scams and Schemes?

    Quote Originally Posted by natski282 View Post
    NO I live in Canada we always pay !


    Soooooooooo true! Like that GST you buy a sweater..... first person buys the material pays gst, second makes the sweater and sells it pays gst, you buy the sweater you pay gst!!!! 3x gst!!! Crap man lets suck us dry! Imagine when you're building a home??? Cut the tree, send the tree out so its cut n finish, send it back to the store, you go buy the finished product and yes there's more but I'll stop or I'll kick myself hahaha.

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    Default Re: Are You Worried About Tax Scams and Schemes?

    Quote Originally Posted by helsonwheels View Post


    Soooooooooo true! Like that GST you buy a sweater..... first person buys the material pays gst, second makes the sweater and sells it pays gst, you buy the sweater you pay gst!!!! 3x gst!!! Crap man lets suck us dry! Imagine when you're building a home??? Cut the tree, send the tree out so its cut n finish, send it back to the store, you go buy the finished product and yes there's more but I'll stop or I'll kick myself hahaha.
    Goods and Services taxes...what about the Harmonized taxes or provincial taxes?

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    Default Re: Are You Worried About Tax Scams and Schemes?

    Quote Originally Posted by rjisaterp View Post
    Goods and Services taxes...what about the Harmonized taxes or provincial taxes?
    Yup we got all 3... Welcome to Canada!

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    Default Re: Are You Worried About Tax Scams and Schemes?

    Good stuff... thanks, buddy!
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