An IRS scam is when someone tries to get money from you by pretending to be the IRS and telling you that there are problems with your taxes. These IRS scams can take many forms, but they often involve a phone call or an email where the scammer pretends to be the IRS.
The IRS never contacts people about their taxes by email or phone except in particular circumstances. If you get one of these IRS scams, it’s important not to give out any personal information over the phone or email.
In this blog post, we will discuss some of the top IRS scams pranks found on the internet so that you know what types of tricks may come your way.
Scams That You Can Find on the Internet
While IRS scams are common, they can take many different forms on the internet in an attempt to fool you out of your money. Here are some of the “Dirty Dozen” IRS scams that you can find on the internet:
One of the most common scams involves sending bogus emails or creating fake websites to obtain your personal information. Fraudsters are always up to date on current events to make their IRS scams seem more realistic.
In this IRS scam, the caller pretends to be from the IRS and tells you that a criminal complaint has been filed against you for not paying taxes. This is called “vishing” or voice phishing. The IRS will never threaten, demand quick payment, or call regarding an unexpected refund. The IRS will then send a bill in the mail if any tax is owed. In recent years, this has become among the most popular identity theft schemes.
In short, the IRS will never contact you by phone or email to ask for this kind of information, and they only contact taxpayers by mail.
Social Media Scams
Another IRS scam that you may find on the internet is people pretending to be the IRS but contacting victims through social media. Scammers like impersonating a possible victim’s family members, acquaintances, or coworkers, which is why it’s so easy to get tricked.
Moreover, these fraudsters can utilize personal identification shared on social media sites to lure you into opening messages containing malicious links. These links may contain malware, a type of software that allows scammers to access your personal information.
Criminals often take advantage of natural disasters and other calamities to trick taxpayers into donating money to fake charities. IRS warns that many of these organizations are nothing more than fraudulent donation scams operated by scammers who want your money.
This IRS scam targets senior citizens by telling them that they owe back taxes. These IRS scams involve phony IRS agents who use intimidation tactics to scare victims into paying IRS taxes. The IRS recognized that these IRS scams are particularly harmful to seniors since they may not have the same access as others do when it comes to checking their IRS records.
Scams Aiming at Non-English Speakers
Since IRS scams can be conducted in many different languages, scammers often target those who are not proficient in English. The IRS warns that scammers often prey on immigrants by pretending to be IRS agents and demanding immediate payment. They are frequently the most vulnerable since they may be unaware of IRS rules and regulations.
In this IRS scam, criminals impersonate company executives or employees by sending fraudulent IRS forms. These scammers may use a variety of tactics to trick employees into handing over their information. Also, a scammer may hack or impersonate an email account associated with someone at your workplace, making an email request sound credible. These employment scams often trick unsuspecting employees into giving out their sensitive information, opening them up to scams that can be financially devastating.
How To Avoid These Scams
Scams from the IRS are often the most difficult scams to get rid of because there’s an actual government entity behind them. These scammers do everything they can to get your personal information, so they can steal your money and steal your peace of mind. Never respond to unsolicited calls or emails no matter how real they sound or what assurances they may give you. The best way to avoid these scams is by identifying IRS scams before they happen and reporting any fraudulent activity you come across.
The IRS is always on the lookout for scams, but it’s up to you also to keep your eyes peeled. So be aware, and stay safe this tax season!