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IRS: Tax scams harder to identify

By Staff | Jul 16, 2015

“Taxpayers need to know scam artists have started sending fake documents to trick taxpayers into sending money or ‘verifying’ their personal information that is then used to commit refund fraud,” said David Tucker of the IRS.

HONOLULU – The Internal Revenue Service last week issued a consumer alert to help taxpayers protect themselves from scam artists pretending to be from the IRS.

“If you get an unexpected phone call or e-mail from someone claiming to be from the IRS and making aggressive threats if you don’t pay immediately, you should assume it’s a scam,” said IRS spokesman David Tucker.

“The IRS will mail a written notification of any tax problem, not initiate contact by phone or e-mail.”

The IRS reported that while phone scams continue, criminals have also started mailing or faxing falsified forms, notices and letters to taxpayers.

The IRS says to scrutinize any written correspondence you receive; just because the IRS website is provided, or a form is listed on the IRS website, does not mean what you received is legitimate.

“The bottom line is if you receive an unexpected call, fax or letter claiming to be from the IRS, contact the IRS directly,” said Tucker.

“Call our toll-free number, 800-829-1040, to see if the IRS is really trying to contact you.”

The IRS does not “… use e-mail, text messages or any social media to discuss your personal tax issue,” said Tucker.

“We receive thousands of reports every year from taxpayers who receive e-mails claiming to be from the IRS. Don’t reply, open any attachments or click on any links. You should forward the e-mail to phishing@irs.gov and then delete it.”

For more information on reporting tax scams, go to IRS.gov and type “scam” in the search box.