Preparing for Tax Season: Common Scams
As the saying goes, "There are only two things certain in life: death and taxes." But there is something else that can go in the list, and that is tax scams. Tax scammers are a routine part of tax season, and unfortunately, they tend to go after seniors. Here are some of the most common IRS scams and ways to recognize them.
Scam: Someone claiming to be from the IRS calls you requesting personal information.
Fact: The IRS will never contact you by phone. The only time you can be sure you're talking to the IRS is when you contact them yourself. The scammer might want your information to try stealing your identity.
Scam: Someone claiming to be from the IRS calls you and asks for credit or debit information so that you can pay your taxes over the phone.
Fact: The IRS will never ask you to pay over the phone. The proper way to pay taxes is via personal check in the mail to the address on your tax form.
Scam: Someone claiming to be from the IRS calls to tell you that you are delinquent in your taxes and that law enforcement will arrest you unless you pay immediately.
Fact: The IRS will never threaten you with law enforcement. This scammer is hoping to force you to pay by playing off your fear and surprise. If you receive this kind of call, you should just hang up.