“Thousands of people have lost millions of dollars and their personal information to tax scams,” according to the IRS. Criminals can contact victims through regular mail, telephone calls and email messages. Here are just two of the scams the tax agency has seen in recent months.
The Internal Revenue Service began a new private collection program of certain overdue federal tax debts selecting four contractors to implement it.
The new program, authorized under a federal law enacted by Congress, enables these designated contractors to collect, on the government’s behalf, outstanding inactive tax receivables. Authorized under a federal law enacted by Congress in December 2015, Section 32102 of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act) requires the IRS to use private collection agencies for the collection of outstanding inactive tax receivables.
Last week the caller ID on my home phone displayed a call from Rochester, NY. It was an automated call which apparently started before my voicemail picked up. If I didn't know better, I might have been worried by what the computer voice told me.
Taxpayers need to be wary against scam groups masquerading as charitable organizations, luring people to make donations to groups or causes that don't actually qualify for a tax deduction. These ‘fake’ charities attempt to attract donations from unsuspecting contributors, using a charitable reason and a tax deduction as bait for taxpayers. Fake charities are one of the “Dirty Dozen” tax scams for the 2018 filing season.
Compiled annually, the “Dirty Dozen” lists a variety of common scams that taxpayers may encounter anytime, but many of these schemes peak during filing season as people prepare their tax returns or hire someone to prepare their taxes.
Unfortunately it isn't always easy to know when a scammer is calling you. Millions of dollars and personal information have been lost due to tax scams.
The IRS uses the US Postal Service to initiate all contact with a taxpayer. They will never make their first contact by a phone call, email, text messages, or social media channels to request personal or financial information. However, after multiple letters they may attempt to call you.
With the recent Equifax breach it seems a good time to remind business owners how to keep their companies safe. I recently read an article at entrepreneur.com (full article here) that shared some important information. Here are some key points copied from that article.
Businesses frequently fall prey to fraud and identity theft because their leaders misunderstand the risks. Entrepreneurs mistakenly believe their small startups are too insignificant for thieves to target. But when it comes to identity theft, size doesn’t matter. As long as a company possesses customer data -- particularly financial information -- it holds value for scammers.
With the ever present sources of free Wi-Fi comes the ever present risk of a security breach and identity theft. A great tool, Wi-Fi can also be our biggest threat.
Protecting yourself can be easy if you educate yourself and use that knowledge. Read this article about The do's and don'ts of using public Wi-Fi, published by internet security leader Norton by Symantec.
IRS concerns about scams and identity theft don't extend only to taxpayers. Criminals also impersonate IRS officials in efforts to take your money or gain your confidential tax information. Most of us have received or heard about bogus phone calls from these scammers, but sometimes they go the extra mile and show up at your doorstep.
We get calls every week from people who are concerned about scammers. It is very important to be extra cautious with your identity and banking information. The IRS will not inform you of a lawsuit via a phone call. They will not email you. They will not text you. They will not contact you on social media. If you ever have a communication from someone claiming to be the IRS, ask for their name, badge number, and call back number. Then you can call the IRS at 1-800-366-4484 and confirm their information. Included below is handy list for what to do if you suspect a scam. If you have questions, please call us first! We can help you determine if a request is legitimate or not.
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