June 26, 2019 - Douglas Myser

IRS tax scams continue year round. Although the April filing deadline has passed, scam artists remain hard at work and the IRS has urged taxpayers to be on the alert for a spring surge of evolving phishing emails and telephone scams. The IRS is seeing signs of two new variations of tax related scams. One involves Social Security numbers related to tax issues and another threatens people with a tax bill from a fictional government agency, The Social Security number hustle. The latest twist includes scammers claiming to be able to suspend or cancel the victim's Social Security number. The Social Security cancellation threat scam is similar to and often associated with the IRS impersonation scam. It is yet another attempt by con artists to frighten people into returning "robocall" voicemails. Scammers mention overdue taxes in addition to threatening to cancel the person's Social Security number. IRS tax scams continue year round.

Fake tax agency scam. This scheme involves the mailing of a letter threatening an IRS lien or levy. The lien or levy is based on bogus delinquent taxes owed to a non-existent agency, "Bureau of Tax Enforcement". There is no such agency. The lien notification scam also likely references the IRS to confuse potential victims into thinking the letter is from a legitimate organization.  Both display classic signs of being scams. The IRS and its Security Summit partners--the state tax agencies and the tax industry--remind everyone to stay alert to scams that use the IRS or reference taxes, especially in late spring and early summer as tax bills and refunds arrive.

The IRS does not leave pre-recorded, urgent or threatening messages. In many variations of the phone scam, victims are told if they do not call back, a warrant will be issued for their arrest. Other verbal threats include law enforcement agency intervention, deportation or revocation of licenses. Criminals can fake or "spoof" caller ID numbers to appear to be anywhere in the country. If you have been scammed and as a result cannot pay your taxes, and have a large tax bill, call this Tax Resolution firm for information about the IRS Fresh Start Program and any unfiled tax returns you may have.