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Tax Season – Time for Scams

As tax season gets necessarily nearer, the sham artists are polishing their most advanced tactics. This short article can help you keep an eye out for these ruthless people.

Tax Season– Opportunity for Deception

In a significantly cheeky ploy, scam artists have started posing in one kind or another as the IRS in an attempt to get you to turn over social security numbers and such. Realistically, this essentially makes sense. Almost everyone is scared to death by the IRS and fear being spoken to by the Agency. Almost all of us would do anything to resolve any issue raised by an IRS Agent including things like sending them copies of credit card statements and providing extremely important financial information over the phone. Put another way, this is the ideal setting for con artists.

The intention of scam artists, of course, is to get confidential details that they can take advantage of to open credit card accounts and so on. This is usually known as phishing for the purpose of identity theft.

Phishing and identify fraud can certainly occur through pretty much any communication method. Here are some recent scams that were highly effective:

One group of scam artists started sending spam emails notifying taxpayers they were eligible for tax refunds. The scam worked because the emails were sent from IRS types of email accounts featuring the IRS letters in the address. Nobody got a refund, but the scam experts received a bevy of social security numbers, credit card information and so on.

Scam artists send bogus IRS letters and Form W-8BEN asking non-residents to provide personal information including bank account numbers, PINs, passport numbers and so on. Form W-8BEN is used by banks, certainly not the IRS, to obtain information from non-residents who are opening bank accounts!

Generally there are a couple of guidelines you can use when dealing with IRS communications. The IRS never, ever sends email to taxpayers.

If you receive mail communications from the IRS, call the agency to verify a letter was really sent to you. With phone call communications, get the individuals name and call them back at the IRS. Both methods will stop scam artists in their tracks. Be suspicious of communications you are given from sources you are in no way expecting.

Finally, the IRS at no time asks a taxpayer for passwords or PIN numbers. If the agency desires to seize your bank account, they are able to just do it. They don’t need to take out $300 a day until your tax debt is collected!

Scam artists are highly creative people. If you have doubts regarding a communication from the IRS, pick up the phone and consult with the agency.