After being scammed (almost) by one of the bad guys myself, I learned just how easy it is to potentially fall for some of the tricks of the trade. After reading a recent IRS post on this topic, I figured why not share some of the scams that the less-than-honest folks who live among us are doing:
This is the one where I almost got caught myself. And, I read about these scams.
Let me explain what happened. I think most of would agree that, unless it is a refund check, they really do not want to see a letter in their mailbox from the IRS. We ain’t saying they are bad….we just don’t consider them our pen pals!
Now, multiply that feeling anxiety when you receive a phone call from the IRS….or what you believe is from the IRS! Clear as day on my phone it says, “IRA Regional Office” and has a Seattle area code. What does one do? I let it got to voicemail and I received a scam voicemail to call the IRS immediately on a tax-related manner. I believe there was the usual, “please contact us before we contact the local authorities on this matter” (a sure tell-tale sign that it is a scam…but I was anxious!).
What do I do? I start the process to return the call! How dumb…I still can’t believe I did this. But the good news?! Something inside of me clicked and I immediately disconnected the call before it rang.
The point is…almost anyone can fall for these tricks! I mean none of us think that bad guys are really going to manipulate the phone system to show that a call is coming from the IRS, when it is not…but, they did! Here are some things to look out for:
If only bad guys could put some of their unique skills to the cause of good vs. evil, huh?!
We should all know the IRS does not initiate emails to us to request personal, tax or financial information. Most inquiries will go through the good ‘ol USPS. But, again, it is the shock factor.
While I have never received a fake email from the “IRS”, people receive and are told they need to clear up a matter. Common sense typically does not initially prevail and the instant thought is “why are they emailing me” or “what did I do?” However, as we all know, once we reply, they got us.
The IRS says:
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As always, the information provided is intended to be educational. It is not intended, nor should it be interpreted as, any form of tax, legal, financial or investment advice.