PROVIDENT FINANCIAL CONSULTANTS, LLC

Avoid Falling Victim To A Tax Scam

We cannot stress enough the importance of being on high alert this time of year for potential tax scams.  “Phishing scams, where an impersonator sends an email in an attempt to gather personal information, have probably seen the largest increase in recent years,” shares Brenda Rolli, Wealth Advisor with Provident Financial Consultants.  “However, don’t disregard the effectiveness and prevalence of scams through regular mail and phone this tax season.”

“Just recently, I received a phone call on my mobile device from an unknown caller and I answered,” shares Brenda.  “There was a recording on the other end, claiming to be from the IRS, notifying me that there is an arrest record out in my name and to call back the provided phone number so that local authorities would not be alerted.  I was confident that the call was a scam, and being in the financial industry, decided it would be an opportunity to gain more information to share with others.”

“I called the number, careful not to disclose any information, and let them know I received their call.  The man on the other line simply said, “Ok, yes.” and hung up after a few seconds.  I looked online and found others sharing the same experience,” says Brenda.  “These scams are so common this time of year and it doesn’t hurt to be extra mindful of the potential of it happening to you.”

Here is a list of several tips from the IRS’s website to help avoid being a victim of a tax scam this year:

IRS employees will NOT:

  • Call demanding immediate payment. The IRS will not call a taxpayer if they owe tax without first sending a bill in the mail.
  • Demand payment without allowing the taxpayer to question or appeal the amount owed.
  • Require the taxpayer pay their taxes a certain way. For example, demand taxpayers use a prepaid debit card.
  • Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
  • Threaten to contact local police or similar agencies to arrest the taxpayer for non-payment of taxes.
  • Threaten legal action such as a lawsuit.

For those taxpayers who get a ‘phishing’ email, the IRS offers this advice:

  • Don’t reply to the message.
  • Don’t give out your personal or financial information.
  • Forward the email to phishing@irs.gov. Then delete it.
  • Do not open any attachments or click on any links. They may have malicious code that will infect your computer.