RS alerts taxpayers: Scammers schemng around Oct. 15 deadlne; Here’s what to do

R-2018-193, Sept. 27, 2018

R-2018-193, Sept. 27, 2018

WASHNGTON — The nternal Revenue Servce s remndng taxpayers to beware of crmnals who contnue usng devous tactcs to steal money and personal nformaton from unsuspectng vctms, especally as the fall season approaches.

WASHNGTON — The nternal Revenue Servce s remndng taxpayers to beware of crmnals who contnue usng devous tactcs to steal money and personal nformaton from unsuspectng vctms, especally as the fall season approaches.

The agency warns that scammers contnue to pose as the RS, makng threatenng phone calls and usng emal phshng schemes to lure taxpayers. The scams may be partcularly prevalent ahead of the Oct. 15 tax-flng extenson deadlne. Aher tax scam, where crmnals pose as charty organzatons, tends to peak durng hurrcane season or followng a natural dter. Taxpayers should these ongong tax scams and know what to do f they’re targeted.

The agency warns that scammers contnue to pose as the RS, makng threatenng phone calls and usng emal phshng schemes to lure taxpayers. The scams may be partcularly prevalent ahead of the Oct. 15 tax-flng extenson deadlne. Aher tax scam, where crmnals pose as charty organzatons, tends to peak durng hurrcane season or followng a natural dter. Taxpayers should these ongong tax scams and know what to do f they’re targeted.

The RS urges taxpayers to look out for suspcous calls, emals and donaton requests and take approprate acton f they experence any of the followng:

The RS urges taxpayers to look out for suspcous calls, emals and donaton requests and take approprate acton f they experence any of the followng:

How the scam works: Crmnals pose as RS employees and call vctms, demandng mmedate payment of a so-called tax debt. Payments are often requested va prepad debt cards and/or money wres. The caller wll ask to stay on the lne or otherwse call repeatedly whle the vctm completes the transacton. The caller may use a condescendng tone and wll often threaten to fle a lawsut, call the or nvolve federal law enforcement agences f the vctm doesn’t comply. The call may appear to come from emergency servces and/or a local/federal law enforcement agency but the fraudsters are fakng, or “spoofng” the caller D to only appear to come from a legtmate agency.

How the scam works: Crmnals pose as RS employees and call vctms, demandng mmedate payment of a so-called tax debt. Payments are often requested va prepad debt cards and/or money wres. The caller wll ask to stay on the lne or otherwse call repeatedly whle the vctm completes the transacton. The caller may use a condescendng tone and wll often threaten to fle a lawsut, call the or nvolve federal law enforcement agences f the vctm doesn’t comply. The call may appear to come from emergency servces and/or a local/federal law enforcement agency but the fraudsters are fakng, or “spoofng” the caller D to only appear to come from a legtmate agency.

What taxpayers should do: Hang up the phone. Know that the RS would never call to threaten or demand mmedate tax payment. The agency offers taxpayers a chance to appeal any amount n queston and offers numerous ways of resolvng a tax lablty.

What taxpayers should do: Hang up the phone. Know that the RS would never call to threaten or demand mmedate tax payment. The agency offers taxpayers a chance to appeal any amount n queston and offers numerous ways of resolvng a tax lablty.

Anyone wshng to check ther account after recevng ths type of call can vst the RS webste and regster to view your account information online. The tool allows taxpayers to vew up to 24 months of payment hstory and balance due for any gven tax year. Taxpayers who want to report scam calls can vst the Treasury nspector for Tax Admnstraton’s webste, TIGTA.gov, and also emal phishing@irs.gov (Subject: RS Phone Scam). Vst Report Phishing for more nformaton.

Anyone wshng to check ther account after recevng ths type of call can vst the RS webste and regster to view your account information online. The tool allows taxpayers to vew up to 24 months of payment hstory and balance due for any gven tax year. Taxpayers who want to report scam calls can vst the Treasury nspector for Tax Admnstraton’s webste, TIGTA.gov, and also emal phishing@irs.gov (Subject: RS Phone Scam). Vst Report Phishing for more nformaton.

How the scam works: Crmnals send an emal to your personal or busness account(s) appearng to be from the RS. The emal usually features the RS logo, uses agency language and asks taxpayers to senstve nformaton. t may also ask recpents to open an attachment or clck on a lnk embedded wthn the emal to supposedly gve the taxpayer account access. n a more recent varaton called “spear phshng,” the crmnal, havng done research on the vctm ahead of tme, wll send an emal posng as a trusted source. The emal wll make an urgent plea to clck on a lnk and update an account mmedately. The lnk wll then drect the vctm to what seems to be a trusted webste but s n realty a phshng webste controlled by the thef who can nstall malcous software.

How the scam works: Crmnals send an emal to your personal or busness account(s) appearng to be from the RS. The emal usually features the RS logo, uses agency language and asks taxpayers to senstve nformaton. t may also ask recpents to open an attachment or clck on a lnk embedded wthn the emal to supposedly gve the taxpayer account access. n a more recent varaton called “spear phshng,” the crmnal, havng done research on the vctm ahead of tme, wll send an emal posng as a trusted source. The emal wll make an urgent plea to clck on a lnk and update an account mmedately. The lnk wll then drect the vctm to what seems to be a trusted webste but s n realty a phshng webste controlled by the thef who can nstall malcous software.

What taxpayers should do: Do personal nformaton, clck on lnks or open attachments from emals pretendng to be from the RS. Know that the RS does ntate contact by emal or socal meda channels. The agency gets n touch wth taxpayers through paper letters maled by the U.S. al Servce. RS letters and ces are maled to the taxpayer’s most recent on fle. Forward the emal as-s, preferably wth the full emal headers to phishing@irs.gov. Delete the orgnal emal.

What taxpayers should do: Do personal nformaton, clck on lnks or open attachments from emals pretendng to be from the RS. Know that the RS does ntate contact by emal or socal meda channels. The agency gets n touch wth taxpayers through paper letters maled by the U.S. al Servce. RS letters and ces are maled to the taxpayer’s most recent on fle. Forward the emal as-s, preferably wth the full emal headers to phishing@irs.gov. Delete the orgnal emal.

How the scam works: Crmnals set up fake chartes to attract donatons from unsuspectng contrbutors. The scammers prey on well-ntentoned taxpayers, especally durng tmes of dstress, such as followng a natural dter. They solct money ether by phone, emal or even n person. The scammers may even contact dter vctms and clam to be workng on behalf of the RS wth the goal of ganng access to personal nformaton under the pretext of flng a casualty loss clam.

How the scam works: Crmnals set up fake chartes to attract donatons from unsuspectng contrbutors. The scammers prey on well-ntentoned taxpayers, especally durng tmes of dstress, such as followng a natural dter. They solct money ether by phone, emal or even n person. The scammers may even contact dter vctms and clam to be workng on behalf of the RS wth the goal of ganng access to personal nformaton under the pretext of flng a casualty loss clam.

What taxpayers should do: Don’t gve out personal or fnancal nformaton such as Socal Securty numbers. Be wary of chartes wth names that resemble natonally-known charty organzatons. The RS has an onlne search tool called the Tax Exempt Organization Search whch allows people to fnd legtmate, qualfed chartes to whom a donaton may be tax deductble. For securty and tax record purposes, contrbute by check or aher way that s documentaton of the gft. Taxpayers who want to report suspected tax fraud actvty can do so by completng Form 3949-A, nformaton Referral.

What taxpayers should do: Don’t gve out personal or fnancal nformaton such as Socal Securty numbers. Be wary of chartes wth names that resemble natonally-known charty organzatons. The RS has an onlne search tool called the Tax Exempt Organization Search whch allows people to fnd legtmate, qualfed chartes to whom a donaton may be tax deductble. For securty and tax record purposes, contrbute by check or aher way that s documentaton of the gft. Taxpayers who want to report suspected tax fraud actvty can do so by completng Form 3949-A, nformaton Referral.

For more nformaton tax scams, vst the RS webste at www.rs.gov and search for “scams and schemes,” ncludng the agency’s 2018 Drty Dozen lst.

For more nformaton tax scams, vst the RS webste at www.rs.gov and search for “scams and schemes,” ncludng the agency’s 2018 Drty Dozen lst.


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