Attempted financial scams seem to happen to all of us at some point. An awareness of the many new ways they can happen is key to making sure you don’t get pulled into them. Identity theft and stolen funds are becoming a growing risk as thieves have devised clever methods of masking IRS communications. Various government entities have identified some of the most prevalent scams.
Fraudulent emails, appearing to come from the IRS, notify you that you are eligible for a tax refund, but need to provide sensitive bank details in order to receive funds.
Inherited Funds, Lottery Winnings & Cash Consignment Scams
Emails claiming to come from the U.S. Department of Treasury, notify you that you will receive millions of dollars if you follow the instructions in the email.
An identity thief could use your social security number to fraudulently file a tax return and claim a refund. You could be completely unaware that your identity has been stolen until your return is rejected for e-filing or you get a notice or letter from the IRS.
An electronically filed return is rejected because the social security number belonging to you, your spouse, or a dependent has already been used on a tax return.
Suspicious IRS Items
You receive a fraudulent notice from the IRS stating that more than one return was filed in your name for the year.
You have a balance due, refund offset, or initiation of collection action for a year when you did not file.
IRS records indicate that you received wages from an employer you didn’t’ work for.
You should respond immediately to the name and phone number printed on the IRS notice or letter. You should also complete from 14039, Identity Theft Affidavit.
Kent G. Forsey, CFP®