Where there is a will, there is a way. This is an unfortunate truth when it comes to con artists. This is especially true when it comes to uncovering new ways for taking money from innocent people.
One of the most recent scams involves personal taxes. Enterprising criminals are actually calling and emailing U.S. citizens and posing as IRS agents.
According to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA), federal officials have received approximately 90,000 complaints through its telephone hotline since late 2013. The TIGTA also estimates that nearly 1,100 victims have lost an estimated $5 million from these scams.
The most important thing to remember is that the IRS will never make first contact by phone. In addition, the IRS does not email taxpayers directly.
“There are clear warning signs about these scams, which continue at high levels throughout the nation,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen in the Wall Street Journal. “Taxpayers should remember their first contact with the IRS will not be a call from out of the blue, but through official correspondence sent through the mail. A big red flag for these scams are angry, threatening calls from people who say they are from the IRS and urging immediate payment.”
These con artists are very aggressive when calling potential victims.
A fellow CPA friend of an SC&H Group employee had a client who received one of these calls while driving in the car with his family — all the while with the perpetrator on his cell phone telling him that there was a warrant out for his arrest.
Fortunately, the TIGTA is there to help if you have been targeted by this scam. Please report the incident immediately at 1.800.366.4484 or at www.tigta.gov. You can also contact the Federal Trade Commission and use their “FTC Complaint Assistant” at FTC.gov.
In addition, SC&H Group is here to help. For more information, please call us (800) 832-3008, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.