If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’re well aware of the many ways unscrupulous people can scam innocent taxpayers by pretending to be the IRS.
Scams can take many forms. A common variation is when scammers randomly call taxpayers pretending to be the IRS calling with a serious problem. The scammers will often threaten arrest or deportation, unless they pay immediately. They don’t often ask for a lot of money – usually a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. The built-in fear of the IRS or fear of being arrested causes many people to willingly send money right away. Usually the funds are sent via prepaid debit or credit cards, even the occasional gift card.
It is worth remembering that the real IRS would never, EVER ask for payment in this way.
As time goes on, IRS scammers are using new methods to achieve the same old ends. Take, for example, a recent client of ours that fell victim to an online scam.
A couple, a husband and wife on disability, recently learned that they “won a million bucks from Facebook.” To secure the million dollars, they first had to send $450.00 to a vague representative, who would then release the “million bucks” to them. The couple did so immediately.
This seems like a typical scam, but it had an interesting twist. After sending the $450, the couple received a message from someone named “John Russ.” John was a so-called representative from the IRS who needed their personal information to “tax” the money they had received from Facebook. The personal information included Social Security numbers and banking information. As if this weren’t enough, the scammers demanded yet another fee on top of their personal information.
Fortunately, the victims called IRS Trouble Solvers first, and we alerted them to the scam. These scammers in particular were awful, seeing as both the husband and wife were on disability at the time – and they were going to scam them twice over!
If you receive a suspicious phone call or email, be extra cautious and do not fall for a scam. If you have a real IRS problem, call IRS Trouble Solvers. Call us…we can help.