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IRS; Don’t Fall for Scam Calls and Emails Posing as IRS

posted Feb 7, 2017, 9:37 PM by Zaher Fallahi

Scams continue to use the IRS as a lure.

These tax scams take many different forms. The most common scams are phone calls and emails from thieves who pretend to be from the IRS. Scammers use the IRS name, logo or a fake website to try and steal money from taxpayers. Identity theft can also happen with these scams.

 

Taxpayers need to be wary of phone calls or automated messages from someone who claims to be from the IRS. Often these criminals will say:

 

i) Taxpayer owes money;

ii) Demand payment right away;

iii) They are due a refund; and,

iv)  Ask for bank account information over the phone.

 

The IRS warns taxpayers not to fall for these scams and follow several tips that may help filers avoid becoming a scam victim. IRS employees will NOT:

 

1) Call demanding immediate payment, without first sending a bill in the mail.

 

2) Demand payment without allowing people to question or appeal the taxes owed.

 

3) Require the taxpayer pay a certain way; for example, taxpayers use a prepaid debit card.

 

4) Ask for credit or debit card numbers on the phone.

 

5) Threaten to contact local enforcement agencies to arrest you for non-payment of taxes.

 

6) Threaten to bring a legal action.

 

 

If you don’t think you owe any tax, then:

 

1) Report to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) “IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting”.

 

2) Report to the Federal Trade Commission FTC); “FTC Complaint Assistant” .

 

In most cases, an IRS phishing scam is an unsolicited, bogus email that claims to be from the IRS. Criminals often use fake refunds, phony tax bills or threats of an audit. Some emails link to sham websites that look real. The scammers’ goal is to lure victims to give up their personal and financial information and use it to steal a victim’s money and their identity.

 

 

For those taxpayers who get a ‘phishing’ email, then:

 

1) Do not reply to the message.

 

2) Do not give out your personal or financial information.

 

3) Forward the email to phishing@irs.gov. Then delete it.

 

4) Do not open any attachments or click on any links. They may have malicious code that will infect your computer.

 

                                                       

Zaher Fallahi, CPA, Tax Attorney, represents taxpayers before the IRS, FTB, EDD and BOE. Telephones:  (310) 719-1040 (Los Angeles), (714) 546-4272 (Orange County) or e-mail taxattorney@zfcpa.com

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