Telephone tax scammers are back
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Tax scammers are starting to crawl out of the woodwork on a distressingly regular schedule.
Back in September, we had tax phishers (blogged about here), looking to hook unsuspecting taxpayers with the lure of false refunds.
A month earlier, we had con artists calling folks with promises of cash if they'd just answer a "survey." Details on that scam blogged here.
Well, for October we are back to the phones, with multiple scams being reported in Oklahoma and Arkansas.
First, let's look at the attempts to swindle Sooner State residents, primarily residents in the central and northeastern parts of the state that suffered flooding earlier this year. The scummers, er, scammers pretend to be IRS agents and tell folks that they are entitled to $12,000 in federal financial assistance to help with recovery from the disaster.
Of course, the "agent" needs the taxpayer's bank account number, supposedly to facilitate deposit of the funds.
Across the border in Arkansas, specifically the Ft. Smith area, residents also have gotten calls from individuals purporting to be IRS agents. In fact, say the agency, they've even identified themselves by using the names of actual IRS employees.
In one Arkansas case, the caller told a taxpayer he was entitled to a $500 refund because he she had paid taxes on time each year. Oh, yeah. I remember seeing that tax credit for being loyal filer!
Another scammer told a taxpayer he was entitled to a $300 refund a month for six months. Again, to get the cash, the taxpayer just needed to divulge his Social Security number and bank account number so the "agent" could make the deposit.
So far, the IRS has not heard of any taxpayers who have been taken in by these scams. Let's hope it stays that way.
But mark your calendar. I'm sure another con attempt will show up come November.
A quick note from the road: We're in beautiful downtown Marfa today, but before we hit the galleries, I took advantage of El Paisano's wireless connection to check e-mail (so my box wouldn't explode before we got back home!).
And what do I find but this note (misspellings and all) from a fake IRS phisher. I particularly love the copyright line.
After the last annual calculations of your fiscal activity we have determined that you are eligible to receive a tax refund of $109.30. Please submit the tax refund request and allow us 3-6 days in order to process it.
A refund can be delayed for a variety of reasons. For example submitting invalid records or applying after the deadline.
To access the form for your tax refund, please click here
Note: For security reasons, we will record your ip-adress, the date and time.
Deliberate wrong inputs will be persecuted by law.
Internal Revenue Service
©Copyright 2007, Internal Revenue Service U.S.A.
Yep, tax scam season never ends.
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