We don’t like it when we have to share news of this variety, but unfortunately, we all know that fraudsters are always on the ball, coming up with new ways to take what they want. Recently we caught word of some more tomfoolery going on in terms of tax fraud and decided you all need to know ASAP!
Like the other scams going on throughout the world, scammers are calling up random taxpayers and demanding an immediate payment is made via a prepaid debit card. Sounds sketchy, doesn’t it? Well, hold onto your belt loops because it gets worse.
These people call random folks and claim to be an IRS employee and tell them two certified letters have already been sent and supposedly been returned as undeliverable. Further, they tell the victim the card is linked to the EFTPS system, trying to further validate themselves as IRS employees. Lastly, the scammers warn you not to contact your tax preparer or lawyer or local IRS office until after making the payment. If that doesn’t set off bells, whistles, or alarms, then we hope all these nuggets of information do!
Please remember that the IRS will always make first contact with you via letters in the mail and not through threatening phone calls. Also, the IRS doesn’t require you to pay in a specific manner, such as with a prepaid debit card. If you receive anything that seems out of the ordinary or something just plainly seems off to you, feel free to contact your tax preparer and ask all the questions you want! After all, that’s what we’re here for, to help with all things tax related.
The good news in all this, though, is that the IRS now has officially created a division to handle instances of tax fraud and identity theft. Previously the IRS was trying to do it all and found out that their method wasn’t the best way to go about things, as in they weren’t running as efficiently as possible. Prior, identity theft cases took an average of 278 days to close a case. Now with the new division, known as Identity Theft Assistance Directorate, cases are being closed on an average of 166 days. Victory! It’s also listed that taxpayers are having a better experience with the IRS while dealing with such unsettling circumstances.
How ‘bout them apples!?
As always, we hope that our clients aren’t subjected to tax fraud or identity theft, but if it does happen, we hope that this new division of the IRS will be as helpful to you as they claim to be!