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Scammers Sink to New Low

Beware of scammers pretending to be from the IRS and attempting to separate you from your hard-earned money because of supposed errors on your individual income tax return. You may even receive calls from people trying to intimidate you into paying them.

We told you about these thieves in the past and hope you’ve been sufficiently warned not to be deceived. Perhaps that’s why the con artists moved to a new target: the deaf and hard-of-hearing. By using video relay services (VRS), scammers attempt to trick those already at a disadvantage into giving them money or personal information.

The VRS interpreters don’t screen calls for validity, so don’t automatically trust callers simply because they employ this service.

As with other taxpayers, deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals should protect themselves from becoming tax fraud victims by remembering:

  • the IRS never demands immediate payment be made in a specific way, such as prepaid debit card or wire transfer;
  • IRS agents don’t threaten immediate arrest for non-payment of taxes;
  • all taxpayers maintain the right to question or appeal the amount owed prior to payment; and
  • the IRS never asks for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.

If you receive a suspicious call, hang up and call the IRS through VRS at 800-829-1040. Connect with an IRS agent to confirm whether or not a tax issue really exists.

You can also report an incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) at 800-366-4484, or online at https://www.treasury.gov/tigta/contact_report_scam.shtml.

Additionally, complaints may be filed with the Federal Trade Commission at https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/Information?OrgCode=IRS#crnt&panel1-1. Be sure to reference “IRS telephone scam” in the notes.

The CPA accounting firm of Patrick & Robinson believes all taxpayers should be protected from these unscrupulous scammers. If you have additional concerns regarding IRS communications or need assistance filing your corporate or individual tax return, the P&R professionals hold decades of financial consulting experience.

Contact us at Office@CPAsite.com or 904-396-5400.

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