We are in the midst of tax season, and you guessed it – the fraudsters are at it again! Please be on the lookout for the following tax scams, where the scammers have been posing as the IRS via phone or email. The most important thing to remember here is that the IRS will never contact you via phone or email.
Click here to watch a short video from NBC Nightly News, which explains some of the recent tax scams.
In the first tax scam scenario, fraudsters will have already obtained an individual’s non-public personal information (name, SSN, date of birth) and bank account information. They may have obtained this information in many different ways (dumpster diving, computer hacking, stolen wallet, pretext calling). They will then file a false tax return using the individual’s name and information. Once they receive confirmation that the tax return has been deposited into the individual’s bank account, they will contact the individual via telephone posing as an employee of the IRS. They will state the funds were deposited to their account in error and order them to pay the funds back or suffer penalties.
In the second tax scam scenario, a fraudster will contact an individual via phone or email, again posing as a representative from the IRS. They will state that they owe back taxes and demand payment from the individual. They will attempt to obtain the individual’s checking account/bank routing number or credit card information to directly debit their account, or they may instruct them to mail a check.
Once again, the IRS will never contact anyone via phone or email – they will only use regular US postal mail. If you receive a phone call or email from the “IRS” – it is not the IRS.
Have you received a tax refund you didn’t file for yet?
- Contact your financial institution immediately.
- Have your financial institution return anything direct deposited into your account to the IRS, and then call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040
- For an actual check received in the mail, write VOID across the front of the check and mail it to the IRS location closest to you by entering your zip code at IRS.gov
- If you cashed the check, you will need to reimburse the IRS with a personal check.
- For further instructions, visit the tax fraud section of the IRS’ website here.
If you feel that any of your First Financial accounts may have been compromised as a result of a tax scam, please contact Member Services at 732-312-1500 Monday through Friday 8am-6pm EST, or Saturday 8:30am-1pm.
Article Sources: NBC Nightly News and IRS.gov