The tax season has begun and many of us are gathering documentation and feverously preparing to have our taxes prepared. But there are predators waiting to scam you with tax preparer scans and IRS imposter scams. Here is how the scams works. A tax preparer scam…An imposter emails potential tax professional to update their IRS e-services portal information and Electronic Filing Identification Numbers (EFINs). The links that are provided in the phony email to access IRS e-services appear to be a phishing scheme designed to capture usernames and passwords. This email was not generated by the IRS e-services program. This is a sophisticated predator scam. You must disregard this email and do not click on the links provided.
The second more concerning issue is the IRS imposter scam. This scam targets taxpayers and immigrants. It works like this, a malicious actor claiming to be employees of the IRS telephones your home or leaves a message; stating that you owe back taxes and threatening that if funds are not wired immediately, legal action will be taken or you will be arrested. If you are an immigrant you are told possible deportation will be your sentence if the debt is not paid. Victims may also be told they have a refund due to try to trick them into sharing private information.
The IRS predator scam is the number one reported fraud right now; says Amy Nafzger with AARP foundation and Fraud Watch Network. The prediction is this fraud scam will get more sophisticated with time.
These predators always seem to know a lot about their potential victims, and they usually alter the caller ID to make it look like the IRS is calling. Remember the following tips to help you ward off these IRS predators:
- The IRS will never call to demand immediate payment, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill.
- The IRS will never demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to ask questions or appeal the amount they say you owe.
- The IRS will never require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card or an electronic source of payment over the phone.
- The IRS will never threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested or deported for not paying.
Taxpayers must remain aware of the IRS predators. Be mindful this tax season; don’t let the IRS predator scam your hard earned cash.
The National Cybersecurity Institute is committed to awareness training and information that will help keep you and your employees safe from social engineering attempts. NCI created a case study to help identify causes of internal and external social engineering attempts. Read more by selecting the link above or visit this URL http://www.nationalcybersecurityinstitute.org/editorials/social-engineering-and-insider-threat-a-national-cybersecurity-institute-case-study/
IRS. (2015, October 27). Tax Scams/Consumer Alerts. Retrieved from https://www.irs.gov/uac/Tax-Scams-Consumer-Alerts