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

Same L. This kind of freaked me out as they said these were "4 allegations of serious crimes and to call them back right away. Isn't this a federal crime impersonating law enforcement to extract information from a citizen!

Bob I’m getting the exact same voicemail! What did you do about this?

Just received a call from 617.206.1439 Massachsetts, robocall, saying U.S. Treasury bringing claim against my ssn and to call back in order not to be guilty of federal criminal offense. Anyone else receive something like this, or call from Massachsetts?

I just got this call. Number 614 408 5579
I think that's in Columbus, Ohio. However, I've read that the numbers can be faked.
Of course I'm not calling them back. They didn't even mention a name, and I don't think robo calls are the way things of this nature work. I don't call back, because they might have caller ID. That would be a sign to them that I am a sucker who might be scammed by this obvious piece of garbage.

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.

408-427-3250 Recorded call from IRS 3/16/2018. Wanted ME to call THEM back at that long distance number, within the hour OR I would be arrested my home and all my assets seized! Careful out there.

I had a very similar call from 845-445-3819. I did call back and was placed on hold/hung up on once I asked for a name and badge number.

Received a call from 408-427-3250 with the location shown as Gilroy, CA. I never answer the phone but they left this message: The reason you are receiving this pre-recorded message is to inform you that internal revenue services has issued an arrest warrant against you and within one hour you will get arrested from your house now for you and your physical property is under state of investigation and it is very important that we hear from you before we issue the arrest warrant for any legal prosecution my direct call back number with area code 408-427-3250. Again the number is 408-427-3250 thank you."

My wife got a similar call Stating they were from the IRS and they were going to arrest her if she doesn't pay. Number was 202 688 7104

I just received the same call but the number is different. Not gonna lie, had me shaking. They called from and asked me to call 646.682.0788

Received robo call on my cell phone, claiming it was from IRS, stating a serious tax error was made on my taxes and stating I will have charges filed against me and to avoid arrest. Call came from (727)399-7449.

Call from New York 646-632-1428 left on our home messaging service on 3-15 1:01pm & 3-16 11:59 am. Message recording broken up, but did hear 'you and your attorney must call back this no...' !!! don't know what issue the robocaller was calling about, tax fraud? ?? certainly did not return any calls

Newest IRS number to be aware of...650-487-4796, from a remote computer, claiming to be Officer Ryan Smith.... Lol... Left me numerous messages to call back or it will be taken as a serious offense. Hmm.... Yeah....

They also calling from this number 607-595-2082

Dream: receoved several calls from 646-357-8753 telling me I am about to be arrested by the IRS and put in jail and that I must call this number immediately. This is the 3d call to me with the same scam. "This is a serious offence," they say, with no indication what "this" is.

On March 20th, i received a voice message from 347-699-4349 claiming to be from the US Treasury, and a case number was left.

I tried to find a place on the US Treasury Website to search the case number that was provided, but i couldn't find anything.

If anyone know how to search of this, or if it is even possible, please share.

I searched the phone number online, and it has been reported as a "negative" number, as scam.

Besides the Federal Gov probably wont call, they will send you a certified letter, stating there action.

Anybody hear about "National help commission" on messenger ? Supposedly wants to give me $30,000 in person, just to help they say ! Ya, Right ! Just click this link. Sure I will ! Not !

I report to the FTC as government imposters. The phone threats for arrest, the mail threats etc. keep filing complaints with the FTC. If enough of us do this eventually it will be stopped. Knowledge is power. Get the information out there.

Same as the above reports. Claims IRS and they've tried to contact me (they haven't) and that if I don't contact them they'll file a lawsuit. Actually, "download lawsuit into courthouse," lol! Several words mispronounced (robo voice but text entered incorrectly indicating non-native English speaker). I know for a fact I have no outstanding bills, etc. so it's a scam. Also called from another number an hour later. People reporting same numbers on websites that actually answered say Indian accent, yells and threatens. Using several different numbers.

just got the message from 520-896-4629

Have received many of these kinds of calls, both robot and foreign language, India, Jamacian, audial, etc. calls have threaten jail, arrest, want money sent via wire transfers, green dot and bank withdrawals. They even infiltrated my account and manipulate my bank transactions!! I don't know how. But do not by any means give information. Beware and be smart and safe! SCAMS are out there. Be careful who you are trusting. The phone # are from all over the US . Report what you think and can to spread the word. Thank you for information.

I'm so tired of getting these calls from what looks like local numbers, but when answered they are always someone looking to scam me! Very harassing! ISN'T there a way to stop this!!!????

These jerks just called a fairly naive friend of mine and sent her into a panic mode. Thankfully it was a message, so I was able to reassure her. These scammers are scum.

Got call today, 6:05 pm, said property in jeopardy, to call them. Dummies left phone #. Called back but wouldn't go through, as dialed. Was ready to capitulate, but to no avail.

Got a call which i didnt answer n then voicemail stating i would be arrested. I havent done anything unlawful. Its a spam number.

4 calls yesterday from an Austin TX number that left a robotic poorly worded message about an IRS lawsuit. Knew it was a scam but called them anyway to waste their time, as soon as the Indian sounding operator realized I was messing with him he started to cuss me out :)

Beware of this scam: voicemail on work phone from 708-967-0142 as follows, "Actually a final notice from the IRS This message is to inform you that IRS is filing the legal warrant under your name and your tax id for the tax fraud and the investigating team of our department is investigating you and your family we had tried to notify you regarding these issues in previous 6 months but we had never got a response from you. so it has been considered as an intentional fraud and a lawsuit has been filed under your name by the United States government you may call our department number 708-967-0142 I repeated 708-967-0142 thank you"

I got the exact same message from ‭(719) 347-6456‬! Scary.

I received this voice messages,

“Is filing the _⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_ _⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_ under your name and your tax ID for the tax fraud and be investigating team of our department _⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_ investigating you and your family we had tried to _⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_ _⁠_⁠_ regarding these issues in previous six months that we had never got a response from you so it has been considered as an intentional _⁠_⁠_⁠_ and lawsuit has been filed under your name by the United States government you may call our department number 303-241-7454…”

Same call from (559)545-3497!

Just got the same robot call from 559-545-3497. So weird!!

I got the same call from 254-262-3979 on June 26 and other times as well

RECEIVED THE SAME MESSAGE ABOVE FROM A ROBOTIC SOUNDING FEMALE VOICE +1-254-262-3979

Also just got the same call!!

It started mid sentence, also in a robot female sounding voice, "and your tax ID for the tax fraud we have tried to notify you regarding this issue in previous six months but we never got any response from your end, so, it has been considered as an intentional fraud and lawsuit has been filed under your name by the United States government number 219-238-3088 I repeat 219-238-3088 thank you"

I received this exact same voicemail from very strange sounding automated woman's voice on June 28, 2018 @ 1:15pm. The number this call was received from was (225)629-3325 and that was the number she gave for me to contact regarding the matter as well. I knew it had to be a scam. But on my voicemail the msg didn't actually begin recording until her speaking the end sound of family. Then onto intentional fraud and having been filed with court claiming US government as the person claiming fraud on my behalf. So until I found this msg I had no idea what angle the scammer was working or what exactly the fraud was supposedly being claimed. I hope everyone who receives these kind of calls researches their suspicion. Then reports it in any and every way including forums like this to hopefully prevent these heartless criminals stealing from actual hard working people.

Got the same call last week but it was from a 610 area code. Same exact message. Kind if scary. Number is 610-931-9156. When I do the reverse phone look up, it states it's a Boost Mobile number. Every one knows that Boost Mobile is a prepaid phone company. Has to be a scam

I received the same message but it was from this phone number: 425-551-7168

Just got a bot call from this number threaten warrant for my arrest and jail time.

I received a call from New Jersey saying that the IRS has is Filing a lawsuit against you. Number +1(201(918-4442). They left a message but I know it's a scam so I will just turn around and block the number. Also try this when you get a scammer calling from the IRS and saying they are going to arrest you cause you owe money, just tell them that you will have to ask your boss at the IRS about this when you get to work. They will hang up so fast. You can use that for FBI, education scams and it works pretty good. Just who ever they say they are tell them you will check on it when you get to work at whatever company they say they are calling from. It has worked for me many times.

phone scam left on my phone machine that I will be arrested if I don't pay my back taxes which I don't owe. Name of caller Hania Elnakib
phone #909-999-6339 alerting people to these call
PS I do not answer any robot calls but it is still scary

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