Even though the April Tax deadline is past, scam artists are still working hard to scam innocent people. You should be on the lookout for scams that mention taxes or the IRS, especially during the summer and fall months since tax bills and refunds are on their way.
The two new scams that are out there are what the IRS calls the “SSN Hustle” and the “Fake Tax Agency.” The first one involves you’re Social Security numbers (SSNs) related to tax issues and the second one threatens people with a tax bill from a fictional government agency. Both are huge scams.
THE SSN HUSTLE
The SSN Hustle has scammers calling and claiming to be able to suspend or cancel you’re Social Security number. The Social Security cancellation threat scam is similar to and often associated with the IRS impersonation scam. It is just another attempt by con artists to frighten unknowing people into returning “robocall” voicemails. Scammers may mention overdue taxes in addition to threatening to cancel the person’s SSN.
FAKE TAX AGENCY
This scam involves a letter threatening an IRS lien or levy. The lien or levy is based on fictitious delinquent taxes owed to an agency called “Bureau of Tax Enforcement.” This agency does not exist. The lien notification scam will also reference the IRS to confuse potential victims into thinking the letter is from a legitimate organization.
A REMINDER ABOUT PHONE AND EMAIL PHISHING SCAMS
The IRS will not call you and leave you threatening messages. There are several different versions of this phone scam going around. Victims are told if they do not call back a warrant will be issued for their arrest. Other threats include having you arrested, deportation, or suspension of you driver’s license. Criminals can “spoof” any caller ID number to appear to be from anywhere and any number in the world, including an IRS office. This prevents people from being able to tell if it is a real caller ID number. Scammers have spoofed the local sheriff’s offices, motor vehicles departments, and federal agencies just to try to convince people the call is legitimate.
The IRS will not contact you by email to request you’re personal or financial information. The IRS will contact you through regular mail delivered by the United States Postal Service. However, there are circumstances where the IRS will call or visit a home or place of business. Examples are, if taxpayer has an overdue tax bill, a delinquent tax return or a delinquent employment tax payment. The IRS may need to tour a business as part of a civil investigation (such as an audit or collection case) or during a criminal investigation. Also, the IRS will not text you or use social media to discuss personal tax issues
If a you receive an email that appears to be from either the IRS or an office linked to the IRS that is fraudulent, you should report it by immediately sending it to firstname.lastname@example.org. The Report Phishing and Online Scams page provides additional details.