BlogScam AlertIt’s that time of year: Tax and IRS Scams

It’s that time of year: Tax and IRS Scams

Themba Wahlstrom

Apr 9, 20243 min read

Tax Season Scams: How to Spot and Avoid Common Tax and IRS Fraud

As tax time comes back around, it's important to watch out for scams. Scammers are trying to steal tax documents, send fake tax forms using other people's names, or force payments by pretending to be tax officials saying you owe taxes.

These scammers use different tricks like sending phishing emails or making fake calls (vishing), pretending to be tax agents or government workers, and pressuring people to pay taxes or fees they don't actually owe.

Here are some common scams you might run into:

Fake Accountant

This is a common scam in the US. Scammers pretend to be an accountant who will give you a considerably high tax refund for very low cost. The trick is, their payment is required up front. Once you pay them and give them your personal information, you will suddenly be unable to contact them.

Fake Tax Refunds:

‘an income tax refund of ₹XXXXX amount has been approved and you need to verify or update your bank account.’ This is a common message that Indians are receiving. Another scam message doing the rounds in India is this one:

‘Dear Sir, You have been approved for an income tax refund of ₹15,490/-, the amount will be credited to your account shortly. Please verify your account number 5XXXXX6755. If this is not correct, please update your bank account information by visiting the link below.’ If you receive a message like this, do not respond. The tax department will never ask for bank details or verification through messages.

Be careful of emails claiming to be from the Tax Authority, with official logos and tempting subject lines like "Tax Refund Payment" or "Recalculation of Your Tax Refund Payment." These emails ask you to click on links and give personal info like Social Security numbers (in the US), birth dates, and addresses. Scammers might even use ".edu" emails to target students.

Social Security Number Scams (USA):

In this scam, criminals say they can cancel your Social Security number. The IRS says if you get these calls, just hang up because they don't threaten to suspend Social Security numbers for unpaid taxes.

Fake Tax Refund Emails:

Watch out for emails telling you to click on links about your tax refund. These emails try to take you to fake websites that look like tax offices, where they might put viruses on your device. Remember, tax offices don't email about refunds. To check your refund, go to the official website or contact your tax authority directly.

Threats of Arrest:

Be careful of calls from people claiming to be from the Tax Authorities or local police threatening to arrest you if you don't respond. Remember, caller ID numbers can be fake, and authorities don't leave urgent or threatening voicemails. They also can't take away your driver's license, business license, or immigration status.

Be alert and protect yourself from these and other tax scams during tax season.

How can Truecaller help? Well, there’s our famous Caller ID and Spam Blocking. But there’s also much more. Visit the website and take a look at all our features, and also make sure to check this blog regularly for all the new updates and tips.

Themba Wahlstrom

Apr 9, 20243 min read

Scam Alert

Keep reading