Watch out for these new tax scams

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They’re at it again... tax scammers scheming new ways to steal personal information and money.

In the first scenario, identity thieves file a fake tax return and have the refund deposited into your bank account. The thieves then contact you, often by phone, and — posing as the IRS or debt collectors for the IRS — demand you return the money to the IRS. But following the thieves’ instructions actually sends the money to them.

In another version, after you get that erroneous refund, you get an automated call, allegedly from the IRS, threatening you with criminal fraud charges, an arrest warrant, and “blacklisting” of your Social Security number. The caller gives you a case number and a telephone number to call to return the refund.

Don’t take the bait. If you or someone you know gets an unexpected tax refund, follow the guidance outlined by the IRS for how to return the funds to the agency. The steps for returning paper checks and direct deposits differ.

In a different scam, criminals are using imposter tax preparation sites and phone numbers to steal peoples’ personal information. Here's how this scam works: You go online to find a tax preparation service to prepare and e-file your tax return. But instead of landing on a legitimate site, you mis-click to a look-alike site created by scammers. The site looks real, and it’s set up to collect personal information that can be used to commit fraud, including identity theft.

The FTC has these tips to fight tax identity theft:

  • File your tax return early in the tax season, if you can.
  • Use a secure internet connection if you file electronically, or mail your tax return directly from the post office.
  • When using an online tax preparation service, look for the tax preparer identification number. The IRS requires all paid tax preparers to have one before filing any returns.
  • To determine if a website is encrypted, look for https at the start of the web address (the “s” is for secure). Some websites use encryption only on the sign-in page, but if any part of your session isn’t encrypted, your entire account could be vulnerable. Look for https on every page you visit, not just when you sign in.
  • Ask tax preparers about their data security policies, and how they protect your information.
  • Respond to all mail from the IRS as soon as possible.
  • If tax identity theft happens to you, visit IdentityTheft.gov to report it to the FTC, file an Identity Theft Affidavit with the IRS electronically, and get a personal recovery plan.

For more information, check out our imposters webpage.

If you spot a scam, report it at ftc.gov/complaint. Your reports help the FTC and other law enforcement investigate scams and bring crooks to justice.

Tagged with: imposter, scam, tax
Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Comments

I HAVE REPORTED SEVERAL HUNDRED FRAUD, SCAM ROBO-CALLS ON THIS CALLING MY CELL PHONE. I AM A RETIRED POLICE CAPTAIN AND HAVE FILED CHARGES AGAINST MANY OF THESE ILLEGAL FRAUD IDIOTS.!!! F.Y.I. FROM: CAPTAIN SULLY.

These people who have nothing better to do just called me..Im smarter than the average bear! Who do I report to..
I told them I would pay when I got my 500-0 a wk..He then hung up on me

How do i file charges? Ive been getting numerous threatening calls for the past month!!. Everytime i block 1 number, they call from another..and so on! Please help!!

already tried to make a loan and bank fraud makes 04 months to all departments but nothing me atencion seems that there is a complicity of these departments with fraudulent banks.

Thanks for all your great information. I pass it on.

Thank you for this information!!! The fake web site scam is news to me. I wondered if they could put in fake I.D. numbers? Is there a place to check out these numbers, just in case they get smart and start putting look-alike Identification numbers onto their ads? Thanks again.

Great and timely alert which is also easy to understand. Thanks. I've made 150 copies for the members of my Computer Club.

Thank you for sharing this information.

Thank you. I will tell everyone I know.

Thank you for this information.

Im on Disability and last year Medicare sent the lawyers that are the opposite side and they changed my Primary insurance without my permission and I only get $758 a month and my out of pocket medical expenses where almost as much as I get in Disability. Also, Medicaire put a lien on my settlement for $94,000 and this goes back to 2012 and offered me only $75,000 and letter States that Medical expenses have to be included when making an offer that I would owe $50,000 + my credit from medical expenses that have nothing to do with the accident that they admitted total neglect and I have been homeless and can I file for tax return with my verifiable madical expenses and Also an income tax credit?

The IRS offers free tax help to some people, including people with disabilities. One free program is called VITA. Call 800-906-9887 to see if there is a VITA program near you. The other program is TCE. Call TCE at 888-227-7669 to see if they have a location near you.

The federal government has more help for older adults. The U.S. Administration on Aging can help you find services. Call 1-800-677-1116.

Thank you

Francesca, Thank for this information. This save all persons young and senior citizen from having their lively hoods taken away from them. In this day and age there are person who are corrupt and dangerous. With people like you, makes this world a better place. Very Grateful

When do the scammers start a scam for prepaid funeral expenses, then duping relatives to pay off what isn't covered?

If you had a problem with a prepaid funeral plan, you can report it to the FTC at FTC.gov/complaint. You can give details about what you paid and what you were asked to pay. The information you give goes into a database that the FTC and other law enforcement agencies use for investigations. Thank you.

I've received a check for over $2,000. I did not cash it because I knew it was a scam. I just want to know who can I send it to so MAYBE, someone can catch these people. Thanks.

If the check came by postal mail, you can give the check and envelope to your local post office. Or, you could give the check to your bank.

BEWARE!

I retired over 10 years a go, and my retirement income is not taxable, so that should make me immune from this tax scam.

Besides not letting Uncle Sam have free use of your money via waiting for your tax return (I always calculated my taxes as close to $0 as possible), this tax scam is a 2nd reason to NOT let Uncle Sam keep any FREE money during the year.

Should increase civil penalty to death sentence. No one should mess around with other people's hard earned money!

I just filed a complaint because those "IRS Services" scammers you prosecuted last year are back! nearly a dozen calls since Thursday from 2 numbers.

Had two of the IRS calls last week... I knew it was a a scam.... also had one from the 'police' wanting donations for officers families.... and one from something about helping Senior adults that tried his bet to get me to answer with a 'yes',,, and one or two to lower interest rates on my credit card..... I get swick and tired of these things.

We received a call,around 6:30 am

Both my mother and my son got the fraudulent call on the second scenario. Luckily they were both cautious enough to know what to do and not fall for it!!!!

THE REASON FOR PERSONAL SECURITY IS TO ALLOW ON PERSONAL INFORMATION SHOULD BE SECURE, SO THOSE WHO ARE SEEKING EAST FAST MONEY AT YOUR EXPENSE, SHOULD BE LIMITED AND JUSTICE SHOULD BE WATCHFUL.

I have received to many emails : that probably scams. from central bank of africa / Ubank of africa homeland security/ someone named Comey withe FBI/ Janett Yellen The Federal reserve Bank in Los Angles and the Federal reserve bank NY. Todd Slone of the Publishers Clearing House. Michel Obama. all about millions of dollars! now I receive calls from the IRS? are these Scams what you investigate? oh yes Mr and Mrs Bill Gates! I have kept a file on the mails on paper as print out. do you want it . I have also sent some to the FBI.

I just received several calls from 850-744-2161 posing as IRS. Talking about allegations and threat of being arrested. Scam

I too receive the threatening calls daily! All hours! Very disturbing.

I receive 2-3 calls a day, robocall stating it’s the IRS audit dept and I will be arrested if I don’t call back. 202-239-8652

Here Is The Most Recent Number I Got Was From A IRS Scammer 405-373-6798 With An Arrest Threat

SCAM
Automated message said investigating department of the IRS, the reason to reach you is to let you know the IRS has filed a lawsuit against your name for tax evasion, so before anything goes wrong, give us a call back as soon as possible at our call back number which is: 318-406-4545, I repeat its 318-406-4545".

I got phone calls today from an IRS scam scanning that I had 4 allegations against me, and the police would be coming to arrest me.. oh at first I called the number back because they didn’t say who they were??? When They answered the phone they stated,
IRS plus The other person on the other line had very broken English. Two or three red flags. The IRS is not sending the police to your door, they don’t answer the phone IRS, and as far as I know we still are not outsourcing the Internal Revenue Service. I called more than one time to make sure that I was hearing it correctly. Then I gave them an ear full!! Three times!! Sure hope the lose my number, because if they call again I will catch you. It worries me how they are getting my phone number. This is the first time it’s happened???

14 March 2018: Received a scam IRS call from the following number 858-222-0583.

Mitchell, I have received numerous IRS calls from that same number. That phone number has been linked to many fraudulant cases. Ignore them. Hope that helps!

I received a call on my work phone an automated call saying they were IRS calling about my recent tax filing that it was wrong and to contact the IRS back at 646-455-2241 the name on the caller ID was Koprin Nikolov. I'm very aware the IRS only contacts through letter and they wouldn't contact anyone at work. This was very obvious to me it was fraud but I know it wouldn't be to others so I am reporting it. Please beware!

I have gotten a call the last couple of days saying there has been a formal complaint against you and gives a relatives name with a number to call before they turn it over to the proper authorities. 833 354 7492

I get a call once a week that sounds just about like what you’ve described here and it’s really ticking me off. They say something about there being “4 serious allegations against my name and that I need to call such-and-such number before they take legal action against me”. Super, SUPER tired of it

I am getting the same exact calls constantly. If you block one number, they just use another number!

got a call/recorded message that an arrest warrant and charges were filed against me and that the IRS is waiting a phone call from me. another scam phone call. it's like the 4th call i've gotten. have no problems with IRS so i know it's a scam.

Just got a message today that the IRS Audit was filing charges against me. Two numbers 202-819-9505 Wash DC and 315-902-0282 Clyde NY... what a scam... but, they got wind that I knew and wouldn't give me the transfer info as I wanted it to file a formal complaint... I must admit I did get a bit worked up receiving the call... I had to calm down and think...

Number utilized for IRS scam today, out of Belleview,Fl 1-352-480-1292

I received a call from Steven Smith. He told me he was from the Tax and Audit Department of the IRS. He gave me a badge # and a case file #. He told me that I owed $9865 and connected me to his Sr. Officer Leo Hernandez which then told me to get in my car and drive to Wal- Mart. He was going to stay on the phone with me until I got there then give me the information on how to send the money. I hung up on him and he called right back yelling at me saying I would be arrested. I hung up again and he has called back 14 times in the last 30 minutes. The numbers they are calling from are 1-302-387-8397 and 1-202-856-3786. I have reported this on the IRS website. PLEASE BE CAREFUL!!!

202-545-6564 calling about "fraud and misconduct on your tax which you are hiding from the federal government". Dont fall for it.

Call from 207-809-8258 in Portland ME on my work cell about $8000 I owe and an arrest warrant. Gave me a case number and employee ID when I called back and strung them along with fake info (name and address.)

received a call from 509-240-1130 - "Revenue services" scam call threatening lawsuit, blah blah blah

Tax scammers calling from (929) 299-0624. Same scripted accusations.

received a check from the FTA stating that it was from Allstar Marketing Group for $27.14

received a check for $23.15 from FTC v Allstar marketing group. Is this a scam?

Earlier in March, the FTC mailed refund checks to people who bought "as-seen-on-TV" type products—like Snuggies and the Magic Mesh Door—from Allstar Marketing Group, LLC.

According to the FTC, the company's “buy-one-get-one-free” offer did not disclose all the costs, and some customers were charged for more products than they wanted.

If you get a check, please cash it within 60 days. If you have questions about the case, please call the refund administrator at 877-982-1294.

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