Happy Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week!







This week has been designated Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week by the Federal Trade Commission, with the intention of raising awareness of this ongoing, rampant scam. There are 2 kinds of tax and IRS related scams to watch out for:


Tax Identity Theft 

Tax identity theft is when a scammer files a fraudulent tax return using another person’s social security number and receives the refund electronically. The victim usually doesn’t know they have been a target until they file their own tax return and the IRS tells you that your return has already been filed.


 Here are signs of tax identity theft:


1.The victim receives a notice in the mail from the IRS saying you were paid by an employer they don’t know


2.A mail notice arrives saying that more than one tax return was filed using their SSN


 Remember these important prevention points:


1.The IRS does NOT start contact with a taxpayer by sending an email, text, or social media message asking for personal or financial information. Remember that this is one of the major “Dead Giveaways” for a scam: asking for personal information.


2.If someone receives an email claiming to be from the IRS (they can look VERY convincing), do not reply or click on any links. Forward it to phishing@irs.gov
The IRS Impostor Scam

I’ve been having a lot of fun with my friend and colleague, elder law attorney Curtis Bailey, creating and recording our new podcast, Scammercast.  In our second episode, called “Scammer Claus is Coming to Town,” we introduced our listeners to “Steve Martin,” who claimed to be calling Curt from the IRS. We actually played the recording of the voicemail on the show so everyone could hear his voice! If you haven’t had a chance yet, have a listen soon. In a bid to gain more victims through seeming to be credible, scammers are getting more convincing, even giving an IRS badge number to seem more believable and ramp up the fear in their targets.


Remember these important prevention points:


1.The IRS does not call people without first sending a bill via US mail.
2.If the person owes taxes, they have the right to request a copy of the bill and talk about payment options.

3. Never talk to someone who calls and says they are from the IRS. Instead, call the IRS directly at 800-829-1040 to see if you owe taxes.


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