October 26, 2016

Recognizing Financial Scams

red telephone

Financial scams continue to clutter our email inboxes and the latest involves sending an imitation IRS CP2000 notice claiming a discrepancy between income reported by an employer and the taxpayer’s income tax return.  In addition to demanding money, these emails have the potential to infect computers with viruses.

Intimidating phone calls by criminals impersonating IRS agents remain a serious threat and these scam artists are also sending threats of police arrest, deportation, license revocation and other aggressive actions via email.  Please continue to be aware that these scams are not going away any time soon and remember to use extreme caution when providing any personal financial information online or over the telephone.

Here are five pretty sure signs of a scam that the IRS will never do:

  1. Call to demand immediate payment.  The IRS will never call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill.
  2. Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
  3. Require that you use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.
  4. Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
  5. Threaten to bring in local police or other law enforcement groups to arrest you for not paying.

Do not give out any information to anyone claiming to be from the IRS. Contact the United States Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) to report a suspicious contact via this link or call 800-366-4484.  You can also visit irs.gov for more information about tax scams and consumer alerts.

Bottom Line: The most powerful of scams feed on anxiety and uncertainty. Stay alert, don’t be a victim and don’t forget that the IRS is available to help you.  Please do not hesitate to call us if you receive a suspicious phone call or email as we are always here to help as well.

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