Tax Scams Across the Nation Part Two: Ring, Ring, Ring! Bad Guys on Line One

2/14/2018 - By John Mascaro, CPA

As I explained in Tax Scams Across the Nation Part One, bad guys will use email phishing attempts to pose as a person or organization you trust to steal your identity or infect your computer. Another popular tactic used by the bad guys has been around much longer than email though: phone scams.

Warning: The IRS does not call and leave pre-recorded, urgent messages asking for a call back. In this bad guy scam, they want you to call back, and they’ll say that if you don’t, a warrant will be issued for your arrest! Scary right? But it’s completely false and illegal.

The IRS has started sending letters to folks with overdue federal tax accounts.  Those accounts are being assigned to one of four private-sector collection agencies.  So…be on the lookout for bad guys posing as private collection firms.

While the IRS does use private collection firms from time to time, those firms will only be calling about a tax debt the person has had – and has been aware of – for years. No surprises. In fact, you would have been previously contacted by the IRS about the tax debt.

How Do I Know It’s Really the IRS Calling (or Knocking) on My Door?

Generally, unless you have an overdue tax bill, or the IRS needs to obtain a delinquent income or payroll tax return, or if they are taking a tour of your business during an actual audit…. the IRS initiates most contacts through regular mail delivered by the United States Postal Service. Even then, the IRS will have sent several notices by regular mail long before they show up at your door.  

If you have any questions about tax scams that could impact you or other tax related concerns, email me or contact any member of our Tax Consulting team.

About the Author | John Mascaro, CPA
John is adept in helping companies develop and execute complex domestic and international tax strategies. He has served some of the world’s largest companies in varied industries, including IBM, Schlumberger, Siemens; and later specialized in the entertainment and media industry serving such notables as Viacom, Blockbuster Entertainment, MTV, VH1, Nickelodeon, SONY Pictures, SONY Music, Newsweek Magazine, McCann Erickson Advertising, Gruner & Jahr Publishing, Reuters and numerous entertainment and media celebrities.

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