If you are a regular reader of this blog, you have read about the many different ways that scammers have been stealing money from unsuspecting taxpayers by pretending to be the IRS.
Scammers regularly use telephone calls to threaten people with arrest or deportation on fake or non-existent tax bills. Recently, we reported that scammers are now sending fake emails to unsuspecting taxpayers that look like legitimate IRS notices. Specifically, scammers have been sending a fake IRS Form CP2000 to their intended victims seeking payment of a non-existent tax bill. As we noted in our prior blog, the IRS will never send a Form CP2000 to an email address. Unfortunately, it appears that the IRS scammers have now upped their game.
We recently became aware that IRS fraudsters are now sending paper letters to innocent taxpayers seeking payment of a fake tax bill. The IRS letters sent by the scammers look just like real letters sent by the IRS and demand payment in relatively small amounts of money. By asking for smaller amounts of money, the scammers are hoping that the target of the fake letter will simply send a check for the relatively small amount due rather than fighting the IRS, which can be a daunting task.
Attached is a copy of a recent letter sent by an IRS scammer seeking payment in the amount of $325.00. There are some notable mistakes on the letter that can alert you that the letter is fake.
The first is that the P.O. Box and the zip code listed on the letter is not the zip code for the IRS Service Center in Austin, Texas. The date of the notice is listed as 2016-08-26 and the tax year is listed as 12-2015, both of which are European-style formats for listing a date, something that the IRS does not use.
The letter also demands that the payment be made to the “I.R.S.”, another tip-off that the letter is bogus. When sending money, the IRS asks taxpayers to make all payments due to the United States Treasury rather than the IRS. If you only write IRS on your check, it is easier for the fraudster to manipulate those letters into different words, such as “mRS smith.”
Finally, the fake IRS letter demands payments even if you disagree with the purported changes to your tax return, something that the IRS does not do. If you disagree with a legitimate IRS letter, the IRS invites you to contact them to explain why the changes they intend to make to your tax return are incorrect. If you do not have a problem with the IRS, and if you receive a suspect letter from the IRS, chances are that you are the attempted victim of a scam. Do you have unfiled tax returns, under IRS audit, or have an unpaid liability to the IRS? Call us, we can help. Call us before the IRS calls you!®