Unfortunately, its not enough to simply file your tax return and be done with the taxing authorities. Due to the massive operation required to file and receive those tax returns, this time of year is ripe with opportunities for scammers and fraudsters. To learn about some of these scams see the March edition of the Savvy Cybersecurity Notes.
For the past several years many of our clients have received a phone call by a criminal posing as either an IRS agent, or an employee of a debt collection company working with the Federal government. These calls can sound very authentic, after all these criminals are well rehearsed, and the person answering the call can become upset very quickly. While these scams tend to target senior Americans, they can be received by anyone.
Hopefully you have heard the following message in other forums, but even so it bears repeating. THE IRS WILL ONLY CONTACT YOU VIA U.S. MAIL. If you receive a phone call or email from someone stating they are affiliated with the IRS or you are unsure, just hang up. To verify the authenticity of the call you can then reach out to the IRS yourself at a known address or phone number.
(As a further reminder you should never give out personal information including your date of birth, social security number or any credit card information to someone who has called you unless you are expecting the call. Without being able to verify the identity of the person calling, you could be playing into the hands of a criminal. Do not trust your phone’s caller ID. It is easy for to mask the name of the person calling.)