The IRS publishes an annual report on the top tax scams consumers fall prey to every year. This could be anything from receiving a phone call during dinner asking for your social security number to someone stealing your entire identity and filing your taxes on your behalf to receive the benefit. It is unfortunate that as long as there is money involved, someone out there will try to take advantage of you and your family.
The best way to stop a thief is to make them aware you know what they’re trying to do. Staying one step ahead only requires awareness of what could happen when you let your guard down and accidentally volunteer information instead of remaining a little cautious. Here are some of the more common consumer alerts to watch for in 2022. We at Green Valley tax will help you just call and make an appointment.
1 - Pandemic Related Tax Scams
For the last few years, there has been an uptick in people claiming to be from the IRS when they call your cell or home number. They make threats like you owe a bunch of money or are in danger of being arrested unless you submit a payment immediately.
Now, these same calls are coming from a different angle. Thieves want to get their hands on those pandemic payouts by scamming you to offer your account information or make a money transfer. Never volunteer information over the phone from anyone you do not know. If the IRS needs to contact you, they will send a letter, and you can verify that letter by calling the IRS directly to make sure they are actually reaching out.
2 - Tax Preparer Scams
Tax season is stressful for accountants and citizens because it requires a lot of paperwork that can be overwhelming when you do not have the time to finish it on your own. Seeking help getting your taxes in order is a good idea, but you should be the one checking out businesses, not the other way around. If you get an unsolicited phone call or email for tax preparation services, that should be a big red flag. You do not want to work with a fictitious company that will still your private information and then use your identity for all sorts of nefarious reasons.
3 - Gift Card Scams
This is a common tax scam where someone calls and says you owe a fee to the IRS. However, instead of requesting a money transfer, they will ask you to purchase gift cards or temporary cash cards and read the card’s number and PIN back to them. Once you do this, the scammer will happily go on a buying spree on your dime. Again, the IRS will never call you about penalties or money you owe. It will always be by mail so you can confirm the authenticity.4 - Refund Recalculation
4 - Refund Recalculation
This is a trickier consumer alert. In this situation, a scammer will call alerting you to a miscalculation by the IRS and that you are owed more money from a refund error. Instead of asking you to send money or gift cards, they will direct you to a website that looks just like the IRS.gov site. There you will enter your personal information, and the scammers will use that to steal your identity.
Getting Around Scammers
Many more tax scams and consumer alerts are out there, especially right now in the current Covid climate. The best thing you can do is never volunteer information over the phone.
Instead of worrying about who will try to take your information, rely on the experts at Green Valley Tax Services. We have been working with clients and the IRS for years and know how to get your tax documents prepared and properly filed on time, so if you receive a phone call scam, you can happily hang up knowing you are perfectly safe.
Give our expert team a call today, and let’s set up a time to go over your tax documents. We have a long history of working with clients that is easy to verify, so you know you are safe with Green Valley Tax Services.