Friday, March 31, 2017

St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office Warns Citizens of IRS Tax Scams


With the 2016 tax season deadline quickly approaching, the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office is receiving calls from concerned citizens regarding two IRS scams trending in St. Mary’s County. 

Scam #1 - Scammers are claiming to represent the IRS. They tell intended victims they owe taxes and must pay using an iTunes card, pre-paid debit card, money order, or a wire transfer. The callers threaten those who refuse to pay with being charged with a criminal violation, a grand jury indictment, immediate arrest, deportation or a loss of a business or driver’s license. The Sheriff’s Office warns the “threat” is an immediate sign scammers are calling, and you should hang up immediately. 

Here’s what you need to know:

· Generally, the IRS contacts by mail – not by phone.

· The IRS will not ask for payment using a prepaid debit card, a money order or a wire transfer. 

· The IRS will also not ask for a credit card number or your bank information over the phone. 

What To Do? 
First, hang up! Do not engage with these callers; if you owe Federal taxes or think you might owe taxes, hang up and call the IRS at 800-829-1040. IRS workers can help you with your payment questions. 
If you do not owe taxes, fill out the “IRS Impersonation Scam” form on TIGTA’s website, www.tigta.gov or call TIGTA at 800-366-4484. You can also file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission atwww.FTC.gov. Add “IRS Telephone Scam” to the comments in your complaint. 

Scam #2 – Scammers assume the identity of taxpayers by stealing their Social Security number. The scammer then creates a false W-2 form from a company and fills out a return showing a large refund. The scammer then has the refund direct deposited into a money card or other untraceable account. According to the IRS, this remains the most common scam.

Here’s what you need to know: 

You receive notification more than one tax return was filed using your SSN. 

You owe additional taxes, refund offset or have had collection action taken against you when you did not file. 

IRS indicates you received wages or other income from an employer for whom you did not work. 


What To Do?

If you are a victim of identity theft, the FTC recommends these steps: 
File a complaint with the FTC at identitytheft.gov 

Contact one of the three major credit bureaus to place a fraud alert on your credit records: Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion 

Contact your financial institutions, close any financial or credit accounts opened without your permission or tampered with by identity thieves. 

Respond immediately to any IRS notice; call the number provided 

Complete IRS Form 14039, Identity Theft Affidavit, if your filed return rejects because of a duplicate filing. Use a fillable form at IRS.gov, print, then attach the form to your return and mail according to instructions. 


How to reduce your risk: 
Always use security software with firewall and anti-virus protections, along with strong passwords. 
Recognize and avoid phishing emails, threatening calls and texts from scammers. 

Do not click on links or download attachment from unknown or suspicious emails. 

Protect personal data. Don’t carry your Social Security Card and make sure your tax records are secure. 

If you have any questions, concerns about a possible scam, contact the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office at 301-475-8008.


Reference:

(https://www.irs.gov/uac/taxpayer-guide-to-identity-theft)

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