From: A Consumer Action News Alert • February 2016 • www.consumer-action.org
Identity theft, fraud committed by your tax return preparer, phone scams and phishing (fake emails or websites looking to steal personal information) are all things to watch for this tax season, according to the Internal Revenue Service’s “Dirty Dozen” list of scams.
While filing taxes can be confusing, one thing is clear: The IRS will never initiate contact with you by email, text message or social media to request personal or financial information. Unfortunately, however, Congress passed a bill a couple of months ago that will allow debt collectors to call on behalf of the IRS. It’s important to note that these collectors are not allowed to accept payment directly over the phone (all payments must be processed by the IRS). So, even though you may get a call if you’re long overdue on paying your taxes, you should never give out your bank account or credit card number to the person calling. (If they’re asking for it, they’re scamming you!)
Link to A Consumer Action News Alert • February 2016 email
If the phone rings and the caller says he represents the IRS, be suspicious.
There is a scam going on where someone may call you and say they are from the IRS, and are demanding payment of money you do not owe. This is how it works:
- They may quote the last 4 numbers of your Social Security Number.
- They say payment must be by pre-paid debit card or wire transfer through Western Union or direct from your bank.
- They may threaten you with arrest or revoking your driver’s license. (IRS CANNOT do this because they don’t have that authority)
- The caller uses fake IRS badge numbers, and if you have Caller ID, they have the ability to show the call is from IRS when it’s not the IRS at all.
- IRS does not make these kinds of calls demanding payment. They use regular mail to contact you first, or will send live agents.
- IRS DOES NOT ACCEPT CREDIT CARD INFORMATION BY PHONE
- They may follow up with fake IRS emails, or they might call again and say they are from the police department or are an MVA official.
- The IRS is working with phone companies to “track” these kinds of calls and arrest those making them.
Do not be fooled by these people and just ignore their demands.
If you receive an email that says it is from the IRS, be suspicious.
Tax-related phone scams and phishing emails are among the fraud techniques the IRS warned about earlier this tax season. It also warned of phishing preparer fraud and claims a preparer can offer “free money.”
IRS Tax Scams/Consumer Alerts Information
Video ASL resources from the IRS regarding ID Theft, Phishing-Malware, and other free tax information can be accessed directly from the IRS youtube channel at following link.
IRS YouTube ASL Channel at: www.youtube.com/IRSvideosASL
What to do to report Phishing emails: http://www.irs.gov/uac/Report-Phishing
The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email to request personal or financial information.
This includes any type of electronic communication, such as text messages and social media channels.
What is phishing?
Phishing is a scam typically carried out by unsolicited email and/or websites that pose as legitimate sites and lure unsuspecting victims to provide personal and financial information.
IRS Phishing-Malware Video
Watch IRS ASL video below or here: Phishing-Malware (Captions & Audio)
IRS ASL Tax Tips Video Channel
The IRS has made videos on a variety of tax topics and other information available on the official IRS YouTube Channel, entitled IRSvideosASL.
This Channel uses the 3-in-1 communication approach: American Sign Language (ASL); captions in English; and voice over. All of the videos are performed by deaf employees at the IRS.
A way for you to keep up-to-date on our latest video offerings is to click on the red subscription box located on the right of the channel below the banner.
Link to the IRS YouTube ASL Channel at: www.youtube.com/IRSvideosASL
There is also a dedicated accessibility page on the IRS.gov website: IRS accessibility information
IRS ASL Video Example: