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Beware of Scammers Impersonating the IRS

Despite repeated warnings from the Internal Revenue Service and news reports (including on this blog http://timoneyknox.com/blog-posts/protect-phishing), unsuspecting people continue to be victimized by scammers pretending to be IRS agents, extorting funds for supposedly unpaid taxes. Versions of this scam have been seen in many states including confirmed reports in our local area.

The IRS has issued at least eight notices in 2014 alone about ongoing “aggressive and sophisticated” telephone scams being conducted throughout the country. These scammers sometimes use fake IRS badge numbers, they may know their victim’s Social Security numbers and they can manipulate the victim’s Caller ID to make it appear that they are actually calling from the IRS or a local police station. The scam often involves threatening to revoke the victim’s driver’s license, or to have them arrested or even deported unless an immediate payment is made by wire or prepaid debit card to a phony IRS account.

To combat this scam, the IRS stresses that it will never:

  • Call you to demand immediate payment or call about taxes without first mailing you a bill
  • Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the chance to question or appeal the amount they say you owe
  • Require you to use a certain payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card
  • Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone
  • Threaten to have you arrested for not paying
  • Use email or social media to discuss your taxes

If you receive a call making these types of threats and/or demanding immediate payment, remain calm and immediately contact your local Consumer Protection Office or the Federal Trade Commission.

To schedule an appointment to discuss any aspect of your tax or financial issues, please contact Kevin D. Birkhead, Esquire, at Timoney Knox, LLP.

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