Just because the IRS is knocking at your door, or calling your cell phone, doesn’t mean you should answer! Recently there have been many theft scams taking place, leaving many people with their identities stolen. Take the time to read this so you can avoid being scammed this tax season.
“This call is to inform you that IRS is filing a lawsuit against you…to get more information about this case file please call immediately on our department number….”
“Legal case filed against your name. This is officer Judy Smith from the Department of United States treasury. This call is an official final notice from United States treasury. The nature and the purpose of this call is to inform you that we have received a legal petition notice concerning a tax fraud against you still before the matter goes to federal claims court house or before you get arrested. Please call us immediately on our hotline division number…”.
Above are two examples of voicemails that many people have been receiving. These messages are the latest changing aberrations for the latest and most devastating scams being utilized these days. This scam is widespread, organized, and indiscriminate in their selection of victims. Luckily, the IRS is aware of these scams and encourages everyone to report the number to the Department of the Treasury.
Scammers will likely use generic names and may have the last four digits of your social security number or other personal identifying information, which you may be asked to confirm. If by chance you have picked up the call, it is fine to be bold and tell them you believe the call to be a scam. Do NOT confirm or offer any information over the telephone.
At this time, the IRS communicates via the old fashioned US Postal Service ‘Mail’— NEVER initially via telephone or by email. A legitimate notice would be comprised of a written notice from the IRS with Treasury letterhead, contact information, as well as an identification code pertinent to your taxpayer case—with PLENTY of time to respond—a standard 30 days!
If the caller has personal information and you would like to file a claim reporting a possible identity theft to the Federal Trade Commission, there is an online form available.
The FTC also has a webpage dedicated to identity theft with a comprehensive range of information and resources.
The FTC also recommends that you report identity theft to your local police department:
For any other questions, contacts the accountants at Berkow, Schechter & Company LLP by calling (203) 356-1061.