It was not very far in the past when we used to receive emails seeking our financial information like bank account(s) or pins to the debit/ credit cards. People got aware of those scams pretty early in the days and the scammers needed to change their strategy to lure the innocent citizens of Cedar Rapids, IA into their traps. So they have now targeted the one financial tool that nobody would’ve thought is vulnerable to scams, the tax returns. The main question would be in the minds of our readers what scammers can achieve by getting information about someone’s tax. The answer is, a lot!
The scammers may target the refund amount that you may receive from the IRS and divert that into their own bank account by changing the bank account information in your online tax return software. They can also directly ask for money to be transferred into their accounts claiming to be treasury’s account. They often achieve that by threatening the taxpayers of worst consequences if they doesn’t do what the
Following Are Some Of The Common Tax Scam Techniques And The Tips To Avoid Those Phoney Scams In Cedar Rapids, IA
- Phone Calls: If you are a vulnerable citizen, like old, retired or one facing tax problems, you will probably receive a phone call from scammers. They can talk to you in various tones and try to demand money in different manners. For instance, the scammers can call the elderly person and ask them that they have some unpaid amount of the tax they owe and they need to pay it quickly in order to avoid in person hearing soon.
Solution: IRS never initiates contact by phone call. And they only call for the confirming appointments etc. Secondly, the IRS never demands immediate tax payment and usually sets a reasonable due date for tax payment.
- Email phishing Scams: Like phone calls, the IRS doesn’t initiate contact by Email and they don’t ask you to email them certain tax related documents. They scammers demand you some tax related document which can provide them your tax details. They ask you to hurry and send the document urgently. That’s the red flag for you. Remember that the IRS doesn’t ask you to hurry right at the start of communication, not over the phone or email anyway.
- Social Security Number: Scammers call or email you or use the old method of sending letters like the IRS do and ask you to provide them your Social Security Number or SSN. You probably think that what harm they can cause if you provide your SSN. You must keep in mind that the SSN is used to file the online returns and they can do it on your behalf if they know other basic information about you by some other means. If you are eligible for a tax refund or tax credit, the IRS will send you a cheque at the address that the scammers has provided to the IRS or it will go directly into their bank account electronically.
- Beware of Fake/ Ghost Preparers: Some scammers get so confident that they contact you in person and claim to be professional tax preparers. If you hire them, all your financials will be in their hands and you will be at their mercy.
Solution: Check their Preparer Tax Identification Number or PITN on the online IRS Directory of Federal Tax Return Preparers with Credentials and Select Qualifications.
Zee Maq is a content writer who specializes in writing business and finance content. She has nine years of experience and loves to provide problem-solving content to help people tackle challenges in their everyday lives.