It’s tax season! And this year, just like every year, criminals are out there online looking for ways to trick you and take your money. They can spoof caller ID numbers that appear to be anywhere in the country. They can even spoof an IRS office phone number or the numbers of various local, state, or federal agencies. It’s scary!
On the Rise – Economic Impact Payment Scams
- Criminals are stealing and cashing economic checks.
- Fake at-home test kits are being sold.
- Fake cures, vaccines, and pills are selling, along with advice on unproven treatments for COVID-19.
Criminals are even setting up phony websites to sell products that they don’t have and producing fake social media accounts and email addresses. It would be horrible to order something that you think is going to help save your life or the life of a loved one, only to never receive the product and discover that you’ve been duped.
Things the IRS will NEVER do by Phone:
- Leave pre-recorded, urgent or threatening messages.
- Threaten to deport you.
- Threaten to immediately bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying taxes.
- Call to demand immediate payment in the form of a gift card, prepaid debit card, wire transfer, or a check.
If you owe money to the IRS, they will reach out to you first by mail in the form of a bill/letter. They do not contact you by email to request personal or financial information. So, if you receive something by email that looks like its from the IRS – it’s a scam. Don’t click on anything. Don’t reply. Delete it or move it to your junk box.
Report suspicious online or email activity to the IRS. Simply send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
It’s sad that scammers are taking advantage of our most vulnerable times and our most vulnerable populations. Educate yourself and don’t fall victim to these schemes.