IRS sounds alarm on tax scams
The Internal Revenue Service is warning people about tax scams that peak during tax preparation season.“Taxpayers should be on the lookout for tax scams using the IRS name,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “We urge people to protect themselves and use caution when viewing emails, receiving telephone calls or getting advice on tax issues.”The IRS released its “dirty dozen” list of the top 12 most common tax scams:• Identity theft: An identity thief uses someone’s personal information, such as name and Social Security number, to fraudulently file a tax return and claim a refund. Taxpayers who have had their personal information stolen and believe they’re at risk for identity theft should contact the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit at 800-908-4490, so the agency can secure their tax account.• Telephone scams: Callers may pretend to be from the IRS in hopes of getting personal information from victims. Scammers may say the victims owe money or are entitled to a large refund, or they may threaten the victim. If you know you owe taxes, call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040. Otherwise, report telephone scams to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 1-800-366-4484.• Phishing: An unsolicited email or a fake website may try to lure people into divulging personal information that a criminal can use to commit identity theft. If you get an email that appears to be from the IRS report it to [email protected]• False promises of free money from inflated tax returns: Scammers commonly pose as tax preparers promising large refunds. They charge a lot of money, and get people to claim fake rebates, benefits or tax credits. The IRS said some victims have reported losing their federal benefits due to false income claims.