Stay Alert To The Wiley Ways Of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
Most people tend to let their guard down during the hazy, lazy days of summer. But the Internal Revenue Service advises taxpayers to stay alert to the tax scams that simply don’t stop. Criminals don’t take summers, or for that matter, any time off.
The thing about scoundrels and scammers is that they know how to tug on your heart strings. The sad truth is that these criminals are still using the COVID-19 pandemic to steal money and identities. They use bogus emails, social media and unexpected phone calls that may sound legitimate to someone who is unaware of the tactics.
The IRS acknowledges the devastating toll these scammers have on taxpayers and every year, to help raise awareness among taxpayers, they post their list of Dirty Dozen scams. They recently posted the 2022 Dirty Dozen list. I’ve included two of the ways scammers are taking advantage of taxpayers using the pandemic. For the complete list, I’ve provided the IRS link at the end of this blog.
Fake employment offers posted on social media: The pandemic created many newly unemployed people eager to seek new employment. These fake posts entice their victims to provide their personal financial information. This creates added tax risks for people because this information in turn can be used to file a fraudulent tax return for a fraudulent refund or used in some other criminal endeavor.
Unemployment fraud leading to inaccurate taxpayer 1099-Gs: Because the pandemic caused so many taxpayers to lose their jobs, scammers also took advantage by filing fraudulent claims for unemployment compensation using stolen personal information of individuals who had not filed claims. Payments made on these fraudulent claims went to the identity thieves.
The IRS advises, “Any text messages, random incoming phone calls or emails inquiring about bank account information, requesting recipients to click a link or verify data should be considered suspicious and deleted without opening. This includes not just stimulus payments, but tax refunds and other common issues.” They also recommend that any information should be verified on a trusted government website, such as IRS.gov.”
Nothing is worse than being scammed. So, please stay alert and review the complete IRS list of scams at the link below.