JGUA urges everyone to review the “IRS Dirty Dozen” to familiarize yourself with these scams that are hitting close home, and learn what to do if you become a victim of these tactics.

Judith A. Palumbo, JD, CFP®

Senior Advisor

 On April 4th the IRS issued their 2018 IRS Dirty Dozen: Watch Out for These 12 Scams list.  

One Scam that has been reported on multiple occasions to JGUA Advisors is the Phone Scam: Phone calls from criminals impersonating IRS agents.  Advisors at JGUA have been contacted by people while they are in the process of these phone scams.  The scammer tells the taxpayer that they owe the IRS money, it can be thousands of dollars, for past tax years that hadn’t been properly paid and since the tax payer ignored all prior written notices that have been sent to them, if they didn’t pay NOW with a debit or credit card, the police will be dispatched to come arrest them at their home.  The caller will threaten arrest as well as deportation and revocation of driver’s licenses.  They tell the taxpayer not to hang up, to stay on the phone with them, if they hang up on the IRS agent, the police are coming.  This situation can be terrifying to the taxpayer.   

In an effort to remind taxpayers about the very real and sometimes terrifying ways criminals try to scam taxpayers, we recommend you click this link to review the latest IRS Dirty Dozen:  Watch Out for These 12 Scams.

This list provides a quick description of the 12 scams, including: Identity Theft, Fake Charities, Fake Emails & Websites, and a further web link in each to provide additional detail for scam listed.  It also provides a list of “The IRS Will Never”, “For Taxpayers Who Don’t Owe Taxes or Don’t Think They Do” and “For Those Who Owe Taxes or Think They Do”.  It’s important to familiarize yourself with the tactics these scammers use, so you can recognize the signs should you become a target of one of these attacks.

You should also keep in mind that according to the IRS they will never:

  • Call to demand immediate payment, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill.
  • Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
  • Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.
  • Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
  • Threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.

If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS and asking for money, do not give out any information, and hand up immediately.

The prevalence of these IRS Impersonation Scams has been troubling, and can be understandably frightening for those who fall victim to these tactics. Remember to always contact your Financial Advisor for guidance on any Federal or State tax notice you receive in the mail, or any other notice you think might be a scam.