IRS scams continue



We've talked about IRS scams before, but it seems as if the scammers are really upping their game lately as it's tax season. This January, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) announced they have received reports of roughly 896,000 phone scam contacts since October 2013 and have become aware of over 5,000 victims who have collectively paid over $26.5 million as a result of the scams.


Once you lose that money, it's gone.


  • In Utah, a scammer duped taxpayers out of $20,000. According to one of the victims, Bradd Munns, he ignored the first two phone calls but when they called a third time saying they had a warrant out for his arrest, he fell for it. Apparently most of the victims were college students; the scam artists told them they had filed information about their student loans incorrectly.
  • In Chattanooga, scammers targeted the elderly. They too used scare tactics; telling people that "There is a non-bailable arrest warrant issued under your name".
  • A Greenville, Tennessee couple ended up giving scammers all the money they had in their bank account. The scammers called four times stating that the IRS had filed a lawsuit against them, and that they should go to the courthouse to settle the debt. The couple assumed that since they were told to go down to the courthouse the call was legitimate. They proceeded to drive to their local mall, put all the money they had onto a gift card, and called the scammers back with the card number and pin.
  • Scammers in Kentucky called local residents and told them they would be garnishing their wages if they didn't pay their tax debts.
  • Recent immigrants are also being targeted. Callers contact them pretending to be an IRS employee, state that they owe money to the IRS, and it must be paid immediately or they will be deported. Unfortunately, many of these immigrants are falling victim to this scam as they don't understand the US tax code and are frightened of being deported.


Don't assume it will quiet down after April 18th; the IRS warns activity could actually pick up. The scammers will begin calling taxpayers saying that the IRS has received their tax return, but there is missing or incomplete information. They will ask for a date of birth and social security number, stating that if the information is not provided immediately their return will not be processed and penalties will be imposed.


New Tricks

Just this year, the IRS has seen a 400 percent increase in phishing schemes. Scam artists are sending out emails designed to trick taxpayers into thinking they are official communications from the IRS or others in the tax industry. E-mails seek information related to refunds, filing status, confirming personal information, ordering transcripts and verifying PIN information.


When people click on these email links, they are taken to sites designed to imitate an official-looking website, like IRS.gov. The sites ask for Social Security numbers and other personal information, which could be used to file false tax returns. The sites also may carry malware, which can infect your computer and allow criminals to access your files or track your keystrokes to gain information.


Don't be a victim

The IRS has been so bold as to say they will never***:

  • Call to demand immediate payment over the phone, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed you several bills.
  • Call or email you to verify your identity by asking for personal and financial information.
  • 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 or e-mail.
  • Threaten to immediately bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.


***In 2017, the IRS will begin using third party private debt collection agencies. These agencies will call you! Way to add to the confusion, IRS***


If you receive a call or email from the IRS and you are unsure if it is legitimate, do not give out any personal information or click on links in the email. Call the IRS at 800-829-1040 — an IRS employee can tell you if you actually have a tax issue.


And if you do have a tax issue that you need assistance with, contact us. We can help. Our job is to make your tax issues go away forever so you don't have to deal with the IRS anymore. Call us at 888-727-8796 or email info@irsmedic.com.