Do you know where your tax return is? Are you sure that next year’s tax return is safe? It’s clear that the IRS does not have a strong prevention plan in place to stop would-be tax scammers from getting to your personal information and then using it to steal your tax return. According to a recent report from the top tax agency, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) has received about 600,000 contacts since October 2013 in regards to tax scams. The TIGTA also noted that there have already been thousands of victims who have collectively lost more than $20 million in that time.
According to the IRS, most scammers pose as employees of the IRS and go after those that are most vulnerable, especially the elderly. However, their threatening tactics are clear-cut signs that they are not with the IRS. The agency will never call anyone and ask for personal information over the phone. The IRS will also always send a letter in the mail first, before contacting you by phone.
However, as the number of scams increases so do the scammers’ methods and abilities. Every year tax scammers get more sophisticated in their efforts. This year the IRS found that scammers have started to change phone number caller IDs in order to make it look as though the IRS is actually calling. Additionally, many scammers are starting to learn more about their victims even before they call, so they can appear to be even more legit.
If you think anyone has tried to scam you out of your tax return then the IRS suggests calling the following number: 1-800-829-1040.