IRS Phone Scams victimizing an increasing number of Park-Ridge residents.
Article Body: Saving taxes in not just about having better taxing rates and facilitating incentives, it also encompasses one’s differentiation of scams from the real stuff. With the passing time, new and unconventional means of fraud are being observed, subjecting the naive citizens to various financial hoaxes. These schemes are called IRS Phone Scamming and they are on the No. 1 spot in the “Dirty Dozen” list of Tax Scams for 2015 filing season. Such scams are affecting a vast sum of the population in small towns like Park-Ridge and Rock Falls. These vulnerable people mainly include new immigrants, illiterate and other easily-influenced people.
IRS Phone Scams:
Before going into the details of IRS phone scamming, let’s briefly see what IRS is.
IRS (Internal Revenue Services) is the US Federal Government’s institution to collect and manage US tax returns.
In the recent months, IRS has been observing an increasing number of phone scams especially in smaller towns like Park-Ridge. In such towns, scam artists pose as IRS agents and threat people with police arrest unless they pay some withstanding tax dues or fines.
Firstly, the scam artists may try to collect your personal information such as Social Security number, email id, birth-date etc. The thieves may file your tax returns using this information and enjoy the refunds that you deserve.
The criminals may claim to know a part of your SSN and use legitimate-sounding automated voice messages, telling you to clear your outstanding dues immediately. The scammers can falsify caller ID information to show as if the IRS is calling, and then inform you of a false lawsuit they have filed against you. To make the threat believable, they often call later as Secretary of State’s employees or police Inspectors. All such calls end with a demand for immediate money transfer through prepaid debit cards, wire transfers or credit card numbers provided over the phone. So, you should recognize all such scams and report to the concerned authorities.
IRS Phone Scams may be directed to random people, but their usual prey are people with lesser knowledge of modern workings.
The modern generation, where every query/confusion is directed to Google for a clear answer, is not so easily fooled. But the number is still not very reassuring. In any case, these scams are causing a lot of unsolicited problems for the taxpayers.
The Park-Ridge Police Department has recently received numerous reports regarding conmen posing as IRS agents with threats of strict legal action against non-compliance.
Protection against IRS Phone Scams:
Upon receiving a suspicious-sounding call such as one described above, bear in mind;
- IRS never contacts people with unpaid taxes through phone, without sending a mail first.
- IRS never asks for credit card information on a phone call; neither do they ask for payment through specific means.
- Use of threatening language is definitely a sign of some scam.
- Demand to pay the money immediately without any chance of inquiry is a sure sign of a scam.
Due to such reports, the Park-Ridge Police is now educating and warning people about phone scams and how they can protect themselves.
So, exercise the following precautions in response to these scams;
- Call IRS at 1-800-829-1040 to confirm your tax status.
- Call TIGTA at 1-800-366-4484 or at www.tigta.gov to report the fake callers if your tax payments are clear.
- Also contact ‘FTC (Federal Trade Commission) Complaint Assistant’ to lodge a complaint against such criminals at www.ftc.gov.
The importance of staying alert and beware of the increasingly convincing phone scams is quite evident. Everyone should employ logical reasoning and stay clear of such schemes.