Don’t Be Fooled By IRS ScammersSubmitted by Karstens Investments on November 17th, 2016
By Ryne J. Bessmer, AIF®
In recent months, new scams have surfaced in which perpetrators are claiming to be IRS agents and targeting victims by sending them CP-2000 notices. Legitimate CP-2000 notices are auto-generated letters asking for payment based on mismatched information the IRS receives from a tax return and a third party, such as interest on a bank account. However, the fake notices that have recently come out are claiming to be in connection with a person’s Affordable Care Act coverage for 2015 and demanding that victims pay penalties for lack of coverage. According to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, more than 8,800 victims have paid over 47 million as a result of these types of scams since 2013.
Many people are falling victim to these letters and phone calls because it is becoming increasingly harder to identify what is true, what is not, who is real, and who is fake. The false notices make clever use of similar type faces and language that one would find in a legitimate IRS letter. They also advise victims to mail their payment to a P.O. Box in Austin, Texas which, conveniently, is the actual location of a large IRS processing center.
With all the various scams that threaten you daily, remember that a real IRS letter or Agent will never:
Ask you to make a check out to the IRS. The correct payee is the U.S. Treasury.
Call and demand immediate payment.
Call about taxes owed without first mailing you a bill.
Threaten to bring in local police or other law enforcement groups to arrest someone who owes money to the IRS.
Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.