IRS enlists the public to “Slam the next scam”
Have you ever made a charitable donation and find out that money wasn’t used for its intended purpose? Or have a grandmother who receives a phone call to wire money or face consequences from law enforcement? You’re not alone. Scammers prey on taxpayers’ vulnerabilities, and this National Consumer Protection Week, March 5 through 11, IRS Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) wants you to slam the next scam.
“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.”
During National Consumer Protection Week, IRS-CI will share information on its Twitter account about how to slam a particular scam.
Phishing scams are still prevalent. If you receive an unsolicited email, don’t enter your personal information or click links. Scammers have become much more sophisticated, and emails and texts may look legitimate.
Charity fraud takes place when an organization falsely claims to be a nonprofit organization or misappropriates funds intended for a charity. Before you donate, ensure an organization is legitimate. Verify an organization’s tax exemption status before you donate goods, services or money.
Fraudsters prey on U.S. taxpayers who may owe a debt to the IRS. Be wary of advertisers who say they can settle your tax debt for pennies on the dollar. If you have a debt to the IRS, reach out to the IRS directly to determine your options.
It’s tax season, which is also the season for return preparer fraud. Research your tax preparer. You’re ultimately responsible for your tax bill so choose a tax preparer wisely.
Seniors should be on the offensive. Criminals often target senior citizens through the use of predatory phone calls and emails, as well as phishing attempts.
National Consumer Protection Week, sponsored by the Federal Trade Commission, brings together public and private sector organizations that work to educate and protect people from frauds, scams, and other threats.
IRS-CI is the criminal investigative arm of the IRS, responsible for conducting financial crime investigations, including tax fraud, narcotics trafficking, money-laundering, public corruption, healthcare fraud, identity theft and more. IRS-CI special agents are the only federal law enforcement agents with investigative jurisdiction over violations of the Internal Revenue Code, boasting a more than a 90 percent federal conviction rate. The agency has 20 field offices located across the U.S. and 12 attaché posts abroad.