Identity crooks have tried all sorts of e-mails scam. It is a good thing that almost everyone knows that the IRS does not send out notices by e-mail. These crooks have changed their tactics. Now there are reports of taxpayers receiving by mail, and email, fake notices requiring immediate payment to a P.O. Box. The P.O. Boxes are located in cities where the IRS has service centers, and, of course, they are not IRS P.O. Box addresses. Continue reading
An Email scam is nothing new. However, an IRS email scam? That is another story. It is brazen to claim to be the IRS in an email scam. Always remember, the first contact you will receive from the IRS will be by U.S. mail.
How to Recognize An IRS Email Scam
If you receive email or a phone call claiming to be from the IRS, consider it a scam. Do not click through to any links. Do not respond through a link either. Instead, help the government combat these email scams by forwarding the IRS email scam to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Unscrupulous people are out there dreaming up schemes to get your money . They become very active toward the end of the year and during tax season. They create bogus emails disguised as authentic e-mails from the IRS, your bank, or your credit card company, none of which ever request information that way. They are trying to trick you into divulging personal and financial information they can use to invade your bank accounts, make charges against your credit card or pretend to be you to file phony tax returns or apply for loans or credit cards.
Don’t Be a Victim: STOP-THINK-DELETE
Scammers become very active toward the end of the year and during tax season.
What they try to do is trick you into giving your personal information, such bank account numbers, passwords, credit card numbers, Social Security numbers, etc.
You need to be very careful when responding to emails asking you to update such things as your account information, pin number, password, etc. First and foremost, you should be aware that no legitimate company would make such a request by email. If you get such an IRS email scam or other emails, they should be deleted and ignored, just like spam emails.
We have seen bogus emails that looked like they were from the IRS, well-known banks, credit card companies and other pseudo-legitimate enterprises. The intent is to fool you and have you click through to a website that also appears legitimate. That website is where they have you enter your secure information.
Examples of Email Scams
- Emails that appeared to be from the IRS indicating you have a refund coming and that IRS official need information to process the refund is an IRS email scam. The IRS NEVER initiates communication via email! So right away, you should know it is bogus. If you are concerned, please feel free to call this office.
- Emails from a bank that indicates it is holding a wire transfer and needs your bank routing information and account number. Do not respond. If you have any doubt, call your bank.
- E-mails saying you have a foreign inheritance and require your bank information to wire the funds. The funds that will get wired are yours going the other way. Remember, if it is too good to be true, it generally is not true.
We could go on and on with examples. The key here is for you to be highly suspicious of any email requesting personal or financial information.
As mentioned prior, if you are concerned or you believe you may have fallen victim to an IRS scam email, please call Alex Franch, BS EA at 781.849.7200. He can help you with the paper work involved to restore your right identity with the IRS. We have locations in Quincy, Weymouth and Dedham. You can also visit our Tax Identity Theft Information Center.
- Phishing Scams and Tax Scams – Part 1 of 4
- Scams: Identify, Avoid Them – Part 2 of 4
- Top 12 IRS Scams for 2016
- Tax Identity Theft, IRS v Massachusetts
- Pervasive Telephone Scams: Did you get a call from the IRS?
- Want Your Tax Refund Faster? Use Direct Deposit
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photo credit: Old school communication. via photopin (license)
We are interrupting our regularly scheduled series, to bring you the Top 12 IRS Tax Scams for 2016 — and, it is revealing. Our series will resume in our next blog.
1. Identity Theft. A tax returned filed under another personal identity.
2. Phone Scams. These scams involve threats of the IRS coming after you. Fear tactics are used to scare individuals into giving over personal information.
3. Phishing. Emails are used to trick you into clicking on links and responding to false inquiries. You can read more in Phishing Scams, Tax Scams Part 1 of 4 in our scams series.
4. Return Preparer Fraud. These are not tax preparers at all, but instead people who claim to be qualified to file your tax papers. You should always vet who you chose to do your taxes. Of course, once you hand over your information, they will then steal your identity and your refund.
The IRS has launched the Directory of Federal Tax Return Preparers. If you search Massachusetts 02169, 5 miles, Franch, and Enrolled Agent Credentials, you will find Alex Franch, BS EA of Worthtax listed.
5. Offshore Tax Avoidance. This is the attempt to hide money and income through offshore accounts for the purpose of evading taxes. The IRS suggests that if someone is involved in this to come clean and voluntarily get caught up on tax filings.
6. Inflated Refund Claims. Beware of any tax preparer who promises you a large refund before doing your taxes. This goes hand and hand with #4 above.
7. Fake Charities. This is low, I mean low. These are set up at the most vulnerable and devastating time. Scammers pull at your heart strings to give to a cause, only to turn around and steal your money.
8. Falsely Padding Deductions. Don’t claim a deduction that isn’t yours. Don’t overstate an amount. Do not claim a credit that does not apply to you. And carefully consider what you take as a deduction for charitable contributions, and rental and business expenses.
9. Excessive Claims for Business Credits. This goes hand and hand with Falsely Padding Deductions. Fuel Tax Credits is one common area of abuse by overstating mileage. Another example given is the Research Credit. Make certain you can adequately prove any credits you take.
10. Falsifying Income to Claim Credits. Don’t make up a tax credit on your tax return. Remember those false tax preparers in #4, well these scammers will try to get you to agree to falsifying your tax return just so you will get a bigger refund. Oops, did I say you? I meant them a bigger refund. Because the scammer will steal your money.
11. Abusive Tax Shelters. The IRS has means of finding abuse. They are determined to find complicated and convoluted tax evasion plots.
12. Frivolous Tax Arguments. These frivolous tax arguments are designed by scammers to convince you to come up with every imaginable argument for not paying taxes. They convince you you have a case, only to put you in a worse predicament. They are often repeat offenders. And, the claims they make irrational and bizarre.
Do you think you fell victim to the IRS “Dirty Dozen” List of Scams?
So there you have it! The IRS “Dirty Dozen” List of Scams. If you think that you fell victim to any of the above scams call Alex Franch, BS EA at 781.849.7200. He can help you with the paper work involved to restore your right identity with the IRS. You can also visit our Tax Identity Theft Information Center. Worthtax has locations in Quincy, Weymouth and Dedham.
Other Tax Identity Theft Help Articles:
Phishing scams (pronounced “fishing”) is the attempt to acquire sensitive information by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication. Phishing is done by someone sending an email to a user. They falsely claim to be a genuine business you may be familiar with. Do not be fooled, it is attempt to scam you into providing private information that will be used to steal your identity and possibly your tax refund.
Such information includes, but is not limited to: usernames, passwords, and credit card details (and sometimes, indirectly, money). There is even an email scam claiming to be the IRS. It is probably the most likely way you would least suspect to be hooked, when it comes to identity theft.
How Is Phishing Possible?
All of us say, “I would NEVER give out my private information.” We believe you, not knowingly. However, you could get dubbed into giving out. Phishing scams are typically carried out by e-mail spoofing or instant messaging. Communications claim to be from popular social websites, auction sites, popular paid apps, banks, online payment processors or your own in-house IT administrators, are commonly used to lure you.
Phishing e-mails are designed to entice you to visit a fake website. Of course, this is done by fear tactics. “Your account has been compromised.” As the owner, you are asked to update details about your personal information, such as passwords and credit card, social security, and bank account numbers. This is information that a legitimate organization already has. The notice directs users to a fake website and enter details there. The website is designed to look and feel almost identical to a legitimate one. It is set up ONLY to steal your information. And these scammers are so nice, they even provide links for your convenience. DO NOT click on the links, as they may lead you to a bogus website with malware on it.
In the meantime, imagine trying to file your return and it gets rejected because the IRS has it already filed. You attempt to get a copy of the return but can’t because you don’t have the ID of the other unfortunate taxpayer who was used as the other spouse on the return. All the while, the scammers are enjoying your stolen refund freely.
Are You Concerned About Phishing Scams, Tactics and Your Taxes?
Our best advice to you is if you get an email from someone that you do know, or the email subject line does not sound right, delete it. Do not open it! Don’t open attachments, and if you did open it by mistake, do not click on the links.
At Worthtax, we want you to be aware of the tactics behind phishing scams, especially when it comes to your tax refunds. If you have not received your refund, and you believe you may have become a victim of tax identity theft, visit our Tax Identity Theft Information Center or call Alex Franch, BS EA at 781.849.7200. He can help you with the paper work involved to restore your right identity with the IRS. We have locations in Quincy, Weymouth and Dedham.
Other Tax Identity Theft Help Articles:
- Scams: Identify, Avoid Them! Part 2 of 4
- IRS Email Scam: Stop, Think, Delete
- Top 12 IRS Scams for 2016
- Taxpayer Identity Theft: IRS versus Massachusetts
- Watch Out For the ‘Dirty Dozen’ of 2013
Taxes done? Well don’t expect to sit back and relax until 2014. The ‘Dirty Dozen’ are lurking and you could be a target.
The IRS recently released the top tax scams that you need to be on the watch for. If you fall victim to one or more of these tax scams, you could end up with tax penalties, interest and worse.
Some of the ‘Dozen’ include:
- Identity Theft
- “Free Money” from the IRS
Read the IRS article IRS Releases the Dirty Dozen Tax Scams to learn about these and the other nine ‘Dirty Dozen’.