If you have, or even haven’t received a text, call, letter, or email in relations to the IRS for a variety of reasons we have some information and insights relating to the types of scams currently happening and what to do to be proactive in protecting yourself. The IRS never initiates contact with taxpayers via social media, email, or texts when requesting information and never contact you via phone asking for money only communicating through regular postal service mail. The IRS will also never threaten arrest, or send local police to arrest you.
What types of scams you could potentially receive:
Phone calls –
If the scammer calls, they can even impersonate the caller ID to appear as “IRS” and even have information like the last 4 digits of your social security number. They may potentially make threats in regards to being arrested by the police.
Hostage scams have also been brought to light where some people have reported calls claiming they were holding certain family member’s hostage and would harm them if they didn’t pay up an unpaid tax bill.
Text messages/Social media/Email –
The IRS will never contact you via this channels and it is important to not click on any links or download any of the information.
Requesting payments via iTunes cards and other gift cards –
The IRS will never demand you pay for your taxes via a specific payment method like prepaid debit card, gift card, or wire transfer, or to ask for credit/debit card numbers over the phone.
What you can do:
Some scammers have been getting and using people’s social security numbers and filing false returns; to help protect yourself against tax-refund fraud you can get an Identity Protection PIN (IP PIN) from the IRS. You request the IP PIN service, before you file your taxes you will receive a new PIN each year that has to be used on the tax return to help verify the tax payer. If you qualify, once you begin to use the service of this program, you cannot opt out.