IRS Criminal Investigation is Asking Taxpayers to Slam the Next Scam
During National Consumer Protection Week, March 5-11, IRS-CI will share information on its social media about tax scams.
Mar. 01, 2023
Next week is National Consumer Protection Week, and the IRS Criminal Investigation unit will spend it informing taxpayers on some of the most prevalent frauds, scams, and other threats that occur during tax season.
During National Consumer Protection Week, from March 5 to 11, IRS-CI will share information on its Twitter account on different tax scams and how the public can report these scams to authorities. IRS-CI has also created a short video about how taxpayers can protect themselves from scams, posted on its YouTube page.
“Our investigators see myriad scams each year. These range from phishing attempts where unsuspecting individuals are prompted to share their personal information to fraudsters who prey on our elderly citizens’ vulnerabilities,” said IRS-CI Chief Jim Lee. “Offers that promise instant wealth or unrealistic tax exemptions are empty promises. Slam the next scam and report to law enforcement.”
Phishing scams are still prevalent, IRS-CI said, and if taxpayers receive an unsolicited email, they should not enter their personal information or click links. Scammers have become much more sophisticated, and emails and texts may look legitimate, the agency noted. Senior citizens are often a main target by criminals in this type of scam.
Charity fraud is another popular type of scam that takes place a lot this time of year. An organization will falsely claim to be a nonprofit or misappropriate funds intended for a charity. Before donating goods, services, or money, make sure the organization is legitimate by verifying its tax-exempt status.
Fraudsters prey on taxpayers who may owe a debt to the IRS. Consumer should be suspicious of advertisers that say they can settle their tax debt for pennies on the dollar. Taxpayers who have a debt to the IRS should reach out to the agency directly to determine their options.
And because it is tax season, IRS-CI advises taxpayers to research their tax preparer so they do not become a victim of return preparer fraud.
“You’re ultimately responsible for your tax bill so choose a tax preparer wisely,” IRS-CI said.