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Scam Alert!

March 14, 2019

Scam Alert! An insight into the top IRS Scams targeting American taxpayers.

“This is the IRS. We have a warrant out for your arrest. Press one to speak with one of our specialists to settle your account.”

You or someone you know may have received a phone call or a similar e-mail or text from someone claiming to be the IRS and searching for personal information to aid them in committing identity theft.

And while most of us are wise to these types of IRS scams, it is important to warn our friends and family as these predators tend to be most successful in targeting vulnerable groups, including the elderly and immigrants who may not understand the normal workings of the IRS.

Now of course, a lot of these scams can be avoided by keeping your malware up to date, making sure your e-mail is properly blocking anything that could be junk or spam and by screening phone calls from unknown numbers.

But unfortunately, the people running these scams are well-trained crime syndicates, who are using fake names, IRS badge numbers and have even programmed caller ID to fool you into thinking that you are actually being contacted by the IRS.

To help you stay on your toes, we’ve put together this list that identifies the biggest scams currently targeting taxpayers. Read on to avoid falling victim to these criminals!

Telephone Scam

This is the most common scam out there! The caller identifies themself as an  employee of the IRS and provides you with a badge number. Victims are threatened with arrest, deportation or suspension of driver’s license. The call will often become hostile with the “employee” demanding personal information and that payment be made via gift card or wire transfer.

The IRS asks that taxpayers keep in mind that they will never contact you via phone demanding immediate payment and threatening arrest.

If you owe money to the IRS, they will send you a bill via mail, and you will have the opportunity to appeal and amount claimed that you owe.

“Tax Transcript” E-mail

A “tax transcript” e-mail is where the scammer impersonates the IRS with an attached document that contains malware.

A tax transcript is a summary tax return, which the IRS would never send via e-mail since it contains personal information.

Also, the IRS will never send you anything that is unsolicited. So unless you have personally requested that the IRS contact you, it can be guaranteed that anything e-mailed by the “IRS” is a scam.

This scam can be incredibly dangerous for employers if their employees unwittingly open the document, as it gives the scammers access to your entire network. Therefore, it is good practice to keep your employees informed of potential phishing e-mails.

“Ghost” Preparers

Unlike Casper, these are not friendly ghosts!

These “preparers” typically promise a big refund or charge fees based on the percentage of the refund.

They may also require cash payment without receipt, claim fake deductions, or direct refunds to their own bank account rather than your own.

Another big giveaway is that a ghost preparer will not sign the return. Anyone who prepares taxes has a valid Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) that they include when they sign your return.

Here at Krozel Capital, you don’t have to worry about any ghosts haunting your tax return! We are qualified tax preparers who are up to date on our certifications and will be efficient in filing your taxes. Please contact us to find out how we can help you this tax season.

Are you a victim?

Do you think you or a friend or family member has fallen victim to an IRS scam? Here is a handy chart that can help you in reporting the fraud to the IRS.

Also, the IRS asks that you report potential phishing or fraud to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 800-366-4484.

You can also forward any fake/fraudulent emails you receive directly to the IRS at phishing@irs.gov.

This will help prevent other taxpayers from potentially falling victim to these scammers.

With a little knowledge and vigilance, you and yours can be protected from losing your identity this tax season!