Each year, millions of Americans fall victim to financial fraud, which means you’ll want to be proactive in protecting yourself. For this blog post we wanted to address a few of the scams you should look out for in 2021.
The IRS SSN scam
Similar to years past, scammers have continued to call Americans to claim their social security number has been suspended because they have an unpaid tax bill, adding that the recipient of the call will be jailed, face additional fines, and/or will not have their SSN reinstated until the past-due amount is paid. (The caller will often demand payment in the form of a wire transfer, prepaid debit card, or iTunes gift card.)
Taxpayers should know that any such call is a scam. First, the IRS will never call you and demand payment via unconventional means. Second, the IRS will never threaten to send the police to your home, immediately, for non-payment. If you do have questions about whether you owe back taxes, you can view your tax information online at IRS.gov.
Fake IRS emails
In modern times, scammers aren’t just reaching out by phone. They’re also using phishing scams to target their victims, and in many cases, they send seemingly-legitimate emails that appear to come from the IRS. The subject line often includes text such as “Electronic tax return reminder” or “Automatic income tax reminder.” In some cases, the email purports that the recipient is eligible to receive additional stimulus payments. The email also contains links that point to a website that looks as if it’s owned by the IRS.
These emails are also a scam- and if you click on the link, your computer could be infected with malware, which could allow the scammer to gain control of your computer (or track your keystrokes, which would give them your usernames and passwords for your financial accounts.)
Again, if you have questions about whether the IRS owes you additional money or you have yet to receive your stimulus payment, call the IRS directly. The IRS does not and will not reach out to you via email.
If you suspect you’re the recipient of a scam call or email, don’t give out your personal information and do not click through to links in the email (in fact, it’s best you just delete that email altogether.) Remember- the IRS won’t threaten you, they won’t demand immediate payment, and they can’t suspend your driver’s license, your SSN, or your business license.
Don’t become a victim of IRS tax scams. For more information about the telltale signs of scams, or for more information about how our firm can help you prepare your taxes correctly, call us today to speak with an expert.