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IRS Phone Frauds Echo into the New Year

Magnifying the communication scam nightmare

As tax season prepares for launch, countless Americans are at climbing risk for falling victim to unsolicited telephone calls, texts, and emails from individuals falsely claiming to be Internal Revenue Service and Treasury workers. Though phone scams have progressively been ceaseless year-round, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) is careful to stress this particular year as prey to the greatest attack ever beheld.

Each month, thousands of people report fraudulent communications from unknown callers requesting immediate payment and personal information, but not before threatening criminal charges if taxpayers do not comply. In order to best safeguard information, it is vital to grasp the warning signs of phone fraud and respond accordingly to the guidelines set up by the IRS.

Behind the mask

On occasion, phone scammers can be tough to identify, comprehensively targeting vulnerable parties such as immigrants and the elderly. Nonetheless, once uncovered, callers can be hastily and effortlessly dismissed. On their website, the IRS amplifies policies on how to distinguish between real and fake government personnel. One of their numerous tips emphasizes how none of their employees will ever ask for immediate payment, nor request personal information over the phone, such as credit card numbers or social security numbers. In actuality, the IRS sends physical letters, rather than calling taxpayers, to confirm the legitimacy of their cause.

Keep a watchful eye

As of October 2013, TIGTA has confirmed approximately 896,000 fraud contacts and is aware of over 5,000 victims who have collectively surrendered more than $26.5 million as a consequence of criminals demanding money via prepaid debit cards, money orders or wire transfers from their banks.

If uncertain if you owe Federal taxes, always call the IRS to have a worker help you with payment questions. If you do not owe taxes and are continuously harassed by phone scammers, it is recommended you complete the “IRS Impersonation Scam” form on TIGTA’s site, tigta.gov, or contact TIGTA at 800-829-1040.

If you would like to speak with a tax representative at Wiss, please contact Evan Gernant, Tax Director, at 973.994.9400 or egernant@wiss.com.

DataSecurity, federaltaxes, internalrevenueservice, IRS, personalinformation, securityattack, taxes, taxsecurity, TIGTA

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