Scottsdale CPA | IRS Scam Warning
The IRS recently published a list of potential scams taxpayers should be aware of.
The most recent is an aggressive and sophisticated phone scam. The caller claims to be an employee of the IRS. These criminals sound very convincing by using fake names and bogus IRS badge numbers and even altering their caller ID name to appear as though the IRS is calling. They may even know a lot about the people they are targeting. The targets are told they owe money to the IRS and it must be paid immediately to avoid arrest, deportation or suspension of business license. In many cases, the scammer will become hostile and insulting. In other cases, the victim is told they have a refund coming to entice the target to give up personal information. The first red flag taxpayers should be aware of is that the IRS will never call you without you having received something in the mail. Usually, you will receive multiple mailings before the IRS will make a phone call. The IRS will also never demand immediate payment or threaten to bring in local police.
Another identity theft scam the IRS is aware of is an email phishing scam. In this scam, the taxpayer receives an email says they need to visit a link in the email to “update your IRS e-file.” The emails mention usa.gov and irsgov (without the dot between IRS and gov). Do not respond to these emails. The IRS will never initiate contact via email.
Lastly, the IRS has been made aware that their are scam artists who pose as tax preparers during tax time. They lure in their victims by promising large refunds that people never dreamed were due. The scammers have been known to give bad advice and charge outlandish fees for such advice or file false tax returns that claim inflated EITC or education credits. Honest tax preparers will always give their clients a copy of the return that was filed, while the scam preparers rarely do. The IRS wants you as a taxpayer to know that you are responsible for any false returns filed even if the returns are prepared by someone else. Taxpayers should take care when choosing a tax preparer. Honest preparers will generally: ask for proof of income, verify eligibility for credits and deductions, sign the return as the preparer, provide a copy of the return and enter the PTIN on the return.
If you have any questions feel free to contact us at Dusseau & Makris, your Scottsdale CPA firm.