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IRS Warns Of Increasing Summer Tax Scams

by Scott Hamilton, Tax-News.com, Washington

04 August 2016


The Internal Revenue Service has warned US taxpayers to be aware of an increase in scams from fraudsters impersonating the agency in automated calls and new tactics from scammers demanding tax payments in the form of gift cards.

The IRS noted that it has seen an increase in "robo-calls" where scammers leave urgent callback requests through the phone telling taxpayers to call back to settle their "tax bill." These fake calls generally claim to be the last warning before legal action is taken. Once the victim calls back, the scammers may threaten to arrest, deport, or revoke the driver's license of the victim if they do not agree to pay.

"It used to be that most of these bogus calls would come from a live person. Scammers are evolving and using more and more automated calls in an effort to reach the largest number of victims possible," said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. "Taxpayers should remain alert for this summer surge of phone scams, and watch for clear warning signs as these scammers change tactics."

In addition, IRS impersonators are demanding payments in the form of iTunes and other gift cards. The agency reminded taxpayers that any request to settle a tax bill by putting money on any form of gift card is a clear indication of a scam.

Some other examples of the varied tactics seen by the IRS this year are demands for payment of a "Federal Student Tax;" the soliciting of Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, information from payroll and human resources professionals; the "verification" of tax return information over the phone; and a pretense to be from the tax preparation industry.

TAGS: individuals | compliance | tax | tax compliance | law | Internal Revenue Service (IRS) | tax authority | United States | individual income tax | Tax

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