IT’S TAX TIME Please be aware
People are starting to receive emails from “turbo tax” saying they were going to deduct 455.00 from their account. If they were not the correct customers they needed to open the link and let them (turbo tax) know. NEVER open a link that you are not expecting.
Here are five things the scammers often do but the IRS will not do:
1. Call to demand immediate payment, nor will we call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill.
2. Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
3. Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.
4. Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
5. Threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.
If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS and asking for money, here’s what you should do:
• If you know you owe taxes or think you might owe, call the IRS at 1.800.829.1040. The IRS workers can help you with a payment issue.
• If you know you don’t owe taxes or have no reason to believe that you do, report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) at 1.800.366.4484 or at www.tigta.gov.
• You can file a complaint using the FTC Complaint Assistant; choose “Other” and then “Impostor Scams.” If the complaint involves someone impersonating the IRS, include the words “IRS Telephone Scam” in the notes. [See update at top of page.]
Remember, too, the IRS does not use unsolicited email, text messages or any social media to discuss your personal tax issue. For more information on reporting tax scams, go to www.irs.gov and type “scam” in the search box.
If you receive a suspicious email claiming to be from the IRS:
• Do not respond or click on any links or open any attachments.
• Forward the email in its original form to the IRS at email@example.com.
• Delete the email from your inbox and trash folder.
• Report suspicious phone calls, faxes, text messages and mailed letters to firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Report monetary losses to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) and the Federal Trade Commission websites
Spot Other Phishing Attacks
Phishing scams are a threat to consumers in general, so keep an eye out for attacks unrelated to the IRS. Be suspicious of emails stating that you will lose something — such as your bank account or email account — if you don’t respond or click on the stated link immediately. Signs of phishing schemes that imitate well-known businesses can contain:
• Generic email salutations, such as “Dear valued customer,” instead of your name.
• Poor grammar or spelling errors.
• Conflicting web addresses: Place your mouse over the link to see if the URL matches the typed web address in the message. If it doesn’t, it’s likely a scam. Avoid clicking the link.
• Web addresses that resemble those of prominent businesses, but are slightly different.
o For example, the URL of a spoof site mimicking PayPal.com may begin with “http” instead of “https.”
o Or the web address may be something like “secure-paypal.com” instead of PayPal’s actual URL.