With tax season beginning, the San Angelo Police Department is warning consumers about “phishing” scams. According to a release from the SAPD, scammers posing as employees from the Internal Revenue Service are threatening citizens with fines, jail time and other penalties unless they pay false unpaid tax claims.
Taxpayers may receive emails with the IRS logo or the “Taxpayer Advocate Services.” In the email, the taxpayer is asked to resolve issues with filings by clicking a link in the email. The link leads to a page where personal information, such as legal names and contact information from the taxpayer. Recent scams have used the electronic federal tax payment system to attract phishing victims.
IRS officials ask that recipients of such emails report to firstname.lastname@example.org. Any money losses should be reported to the Treasury Inspector General Administration. Additionally, a claim should be filed with the Federal Trade Commission’s complaint assistant.
Telephone scammers are asking victims to immediately make payments for back taxes via wire transfers or prepaid debit cards such as Green Dot MoneyPak. They use spoofing techniques which lead victims to believe they are calling from a legitimate number identifying them as IRS or local police departments on caller ID.
Scammers will use false names and IRS identification numbers and could have the victim’s last four digits of their Social Security numbers. Sometimes, the call will correspond with a fake email. Scammers will sometimes turn hostile and threaten arrest or taking the victim’s home if they are hesitant to comply. At times, they will have another scammer contact an individual claiming to be from a government entity or the local police.
GreenDot MoneyPak officials are reminding the public that if MoneyPak numbers are given to scammers, the company does not insure funds and will not refund money.
Other scam tactics including mail, fax, fictitious websites and text or SMS.
For more information about these scams and others, go to irs.gov/uac/Report-Phishing.